7.2.2VARIO proposed an integral strategy

A small, centrally located region as Flanders with innovative companies and top knowledge institutions in near proximity, is unique in any case, and an important asset for further developing entrepreneurial ecosystems. High performance cross-border ecosystems are the breeding ground par excellence, in which young and more mature high-growth innovative firms can (continue to) grow, turning themselves into international, world-class players.

VARIO proposes an integral strategy (Figure 2) to increase the number of successful high-growth innovative enterprises in Flanders. The strategy focuses on four closely interwoven policy goals:

  1. Increasing the number of ambitious entrepreneurs
  2. Developing effective entrepreneurial ecosystems
  3. Creating favorable framework conditions
  4. Strengthening evaluation and monitoring tools

VARIO emphasizes that the elements in the strategy are strongly interwoven and influence each other. When some elements in the system do not function properly, this can hamper appropriate functioning of the entire system. Due to the complexity this requires an innovative, holistic policy approach, away from silos, and based on a detailed understanding of the internal dynamics of entrepreneurial ecosystems, in close collaboration with a variety of stakeholders.


Figure 2: Integral strategy to optimize the number of successful high-growth innovative firms