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Swiss EP

Swiss EP Peru Dives into Public Policy

Swiss EP Peru continues to explore the state of public policy for entrepreneurs and innovation in Peru and how the program can expand its role as a convener into public policy issues.

As innovation continues to show results and become the main driver in today's economy, public policy will have to follow close behind.

In Peru’s emerging entrepreneurship ecosystem, the different policy needs of high-growth startups and traditional SMEs have recently begun to be identified. Currently, public policy is geared towards creating regulations that help traditional SMEs. However, as innovation continues to show results and become the main driver in today's economy, public policy will have to follow close behind.

The Swiss Entrepreneurship Program, a program supported by the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs - SECO and implemented by Swisscontact, seeks to leverage its position to increase public policy dialogue (PPD) in support of high-growth entrepreneurs among key stakeholders. Swiss EP’s systemic approach to helping the development of support organizations and the ecosystem has positioned the program as a relevant player. Since 2015, Swiss EP has worked with over 20 organizations from accelerators, angel networks, community builders, associations, startups, government agencies, and government ministries to create synergies, and capacity-build.

There are two main ways that Swiss EP can support PPD initiatives: First, Swiss EP’s connectivity in the ecosystem and close relationship with different public and private actors enables the program to offer opportunities for these actors to engage in conversation. In other words, leveraging Swiss EP’s role as convener to initiate simple discussions can potentially lead to new impactful initiatives.

Second, working with diverse support organizations (incubators, accelerators, angel networks & VCs) as well as public actors (i.e. Ministry of Production, Innovate Peru) allows Swiss EP to be a promising scouter for PPD opportunities.

In the past year, Swiss EP’s PPD actions have been focused on helping the increase of funding available for entrepreneurs through PECAP and its public policy committee. However, in January 2020, Swiss EP facilitated a roundtable meeting by the Ministry of Production and the Association for Peruvian Entrepreneurs to unite a diverse group of stakeholders & discuss their PPD agendas. The meeting allowed for organizations that usually have limited interaction to inform each other of their PPD challenges and current actions. Swiss EP was also able to express its interest in helping PPD for high-growth entrepreneurs.

To continue identifying public policy gaps Swiss EP brought in Entrepreneur-in-Residence Dr. Johannes Bramann, a PhD. in development economics. Johannes spent a month in Peru interviewing local actors and international experts to uncover a series of opportunities, respective case studies, and suggested ways forward for enhancing public policy to better support high-growth entrepreneurship. These findings were presented to various public actors.

One of the ideas presented gained traction: An Open Innovation Hub as a gateway to the ecosystem. In follow-up meetings, other actors were approached to join forces in this initiative and though recent advances have slowed, Swiss EP is committed to revisiting the possibility.

This was the first step for Swiss EP to develop a stronger understanding of the state of PPD for high-growth entrepreneurship so it can continue to pursue ways to scout, convene, and facilitate PPD opportunities. Although PPD is not Swiss EP’s core strength, exploring new ideas and advocating for synergies between support organizations, entrepreneurs, government, and other associations is a natural extension to its existing efforts.

For more information about the Swiss Entrepreneurship Program please see www.swissep.org. If you are interested in viewing the report of Public Policy opportunities in Peru, please contact camila.cordero@swisscontact.org.