Policy Hack Iterations
Photo Credit: World Bank
Cristina A.
12 Jun 2019


Since the first edition of the Startup Nations Policy Hack in Tallinn Estonia in November 2017, network members and knowledge partners have hosted local editions in South Africa, Egypt, Georgia, and The Philippines.

Today, the World Bank is hosting Botswana's first entrepreneurship policy hack. The baseline for the discussion will be the new, high-level policy framework for entrepreneurship, proposed by Dr. Joel Sentsho, Trade Policy Advisor in the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI).

As with all policy hacks organized with a goal of working towards actual implementation, the World Bank is aware that the impact of the hack will come to fruition in the stages after the actual event, when different actors collaborate to implement the new set of policies.  "It is truly exciting how many actors in the ecosystem have come onboard for this exercise, and we hope this is only the beginning, with all participants continuing the dialogue also after the hack", expressed Ellen Olafsen, senior private sector specialist in the Southern Africa Unit of the World Bank Group's Finance, Competitiveness, and Innovation Global Practice.

Each Startup Nations implementing partner is free tailor the methodology proposed in the playbook, introducing design choices to arrive at a process that works for their country at that point in time and also in the context of the policy timeline. In this regard, Mrs. Olafsen stressed the importance of securing high-levels of private sector participation and of having formed a multi-stakeholder policy hack advisory committee in Botswana: "We created the hack advisory committee to make sure we have broad representation from across the ecosystem and that they are actively engaged in both the design, preparation and roll-out of the hack. We are all aiming for the hack to serve as a tool to bring the entrepreneurship ecosystem together around advancing an entrepreneurship policy in such a way that we optimize the chances that it will infuse new energy into Botswana’s startup community." Startup Nations and GEN Botswana are proud to have been member of this advisory committee.

In Ecuador, the Alliance for Entrepreneurship and Innovation (AEI) has in turn built in a design thinking component that brought together actors on June 4, 2019 to narrow down the challenge the Vice President's office would like to address at their upcoming Startup Nations Policy Hack: export facilitation. Stay tuned for more news about Ecuador's experience.

All 2019 locally-organized policy hacks will select a team leader to attend the next global edition of the Startup Nations Policy Hack, so that different countries' public sector solutions can receive further feedback from peers and experts. 


Cristina A. Fernandez

Vice President for Policy + Research | Global Entrepreneurship Network

Cristina Fernández focuses on integrating public officials into startup ecosystems across the world, creating platforms for them to exchange ideas… More