What Does ENDuRE Teach Us about the Digital Economy?

The digital economy is growing fast, changing the game all over the world. The UK and Europe are struggling to keep at the forefront of this digital revolution. This is where the ENDuRE programme can play a significant role in helping European digital businesses thrive.

ENDuRE –the European Network of Design for Resilient Entrepreneurship — was established two years ago with the aim of building tools and support services for budding entrepreneurs across Europe; it’s an open-source platform pooling expertise and resources from across the globe. It started with an investigation – What did this start up community need? – and has developed tools and education to address this question, and to help start ups overcome the ‘Valley of Death’ between inception and success. CoDE and ENDuRE jointly ran the DEAL (Digital Economy Advanced Labs) pilot programme, bringing together world-class digital expertise in an intensive summer workshop here at Surrey.

Now ENDuRE is an established programme with an updated website crammed with resources for entrepreneurs, including videos and an ebook.

At the recent ENDuRE round-up meeting here in the Business Insights Lab, we shared the key points that the last two years have taught us:

  • ‘Ideas are worthless; execution is everything’: in a fast-moving digital context, it all comes down to the team – experience, background, hard work, and funding. VCs invest in the team, not the idea;
  • Design for resilience’: teaching resilience is one of ENDuRE’s key objectives – but developing resilience to difference is even more important – the investment culture and the level of risk aversion can be wildly different between Europe and the US, and even within Europe. VCs only respect staying power;
  • ‘Most disruption comes from within the industry – and is not necessarily the province of the young companies with the bold ideas’;
  • ‘MBA courses should teach Emotional Resilience’: No one is prepared for the pressure, the panic, the fear and the stress of entrepreneurship;
  • ‘Some rules are better ignored’: Guess which rules are really the important ones?

ENDuRE now has four offers, grounded in two years of experience and designed for sharing best practice for digital entrepreneurs across Europe:

  1. Research & Reports. Get in touch with the experts behind the programme to benefit from their own cutting-edge research and experience.
  2. E-book. Volume 1 (Social) is now published and available for public access online. Volumes 2 & 3 (Knowledge & Business, respectively) are in the works due for release later this year.
  3. Pre-accelerator courses. We’ve developed our methodology for dissemination to other European universities.
  4. Mobility. We’ve written our methodology for how the two-month foreign-market experience programme works – it’s easy to follow for other institutions to get it up and running.

If you are an entrepreneur, can you really afford not to get involved with ENDuRE?

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About the Author : Kris Henley

Communications and Outreach for Surrey Business School's Centre for the Digital Economy, a newly-founded research centre to explore the implications of the Digital Economy for business, government and society.