Global Entrepreneurial Online (GEO) Networks:
A Global Entrepreneurial Online (GEO) Network is defined as an online platform which brings together the following:
- A geographically diverse online community that focusses on start-ups
- Collaboration and knowledge-sharing between community members that lead to the development of new and innovative products and services
- Ability for members to connect, promote, distribute and sell their products and services to (potential) buyers
- Ability for buyers to review, provide feedback, endorse and invest to enable further consumer insights and breakthrough
- Continuous Growth of the community through promotion of the network / platform itself.
GEO Networks Prosperity Model
The GEO Networks Prosperity Model has been developed to crystallize the factors that ensure the success of GEO Networks. These include the enablers, the growth factors, the Eco-system and the benefits and opportunities that accrue from it. These are explained in greater detail below.
- Enablers are the basic prerequisites for a GEO Network to establish itself as a source of economic activity. Government Regulations, ICT Infrastructure, Entrepreneurship Culture and Availability of Capital, all play a critical role in providing the environment for a GEO Network to be established in any society.
- Growth Factors ensure that a GEO Network continues to grow and perpetuate after its initial establishment. These include awareness of the GEO Network itself and the awareness of its functionality among its members; Loyalty of its members to that particular GEO Network; the ability to network with other members of community (offline and online); and finally, the community population itself can enable the GEO Network to grow through word-of-mouth and self-perpetuation.
- The GEO Network Eco-system plays an important role in ensuring members can benefit from opportunities available in the GEO Network. The eco-system should enable collaboration and knowledge sharing that lead to consumer insights which result in e-commerce in the form of products and service developed and offered by its members.
- Finally, GEO Networks offer opportunities to its member, and indeed the wider population, to add value to society. Initiatives through such online platforms can lead to new innovations, ensure economic development and can lead to poverty alleviation.
It can safely be said that, in today’s world, GEO Networks need to be evaluated by policymakers as a major source of economic development and job creation. Policies should be enabled which ensure that GEO Networks are easily established in any market and thrive through the active participation of its community members.