Entrepreneurship and the innovation ecosystem policy: A case study in post-conflict Somalia

The science, technology and innovation (STI) framework is a fundamental catalyst for economic development, growth, and sustainability. Somalia has been recording moderate economic growth despite external shocks related to security, drought, and famine. However, there are severe shortcomings in the business environment, associated with the insufficient conceptually inclusive policy framework and the absence of direct and concrete pro-poor innovation policy instruments. On that basis, the study aimed to acquire a profound understanding of how the environment for innovation, policy, and regulations conditions entrepreneurship practices in a post-conflict Somalia context. The research conducted face-to-face interviews complemented by consultative workshops and a qualitative survey. The interviews involved 20 leaders representing government, business associations, and cross-sector practitioners. The main findings show that 55% of entrepreneurs had difficulties doing business due to the absence of regulatory and policy instruments. The respondents reported not knowing anything about an innovation policy framework. The paper suggests that the Somali government should initiate a pragmatic policy experimentation approach to identify workable instruments that can broadly support innovation in specific contexts instead of imitating developed countries’ policy frameworks.

 

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