New research from The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) confirms that informal entrepreneur communities are instrumental to start-up success in those cities that are known for their nurturing of innovation. “Start-up ecosystems” are beginning to gain traction across Africa where entrepreneurs help other entrepreneurs in both informal and formal networks; and where business incubators and accelerators provide practical guidance and assistance to startups, as well as inspirational spaces in which to operate (the Standard Bank Business Incubators in key cities across South Africa are a great example of this). Successful start-up ecosystems are there to help turn entrepreneurial ideas into reality, to harness the energy and talent of bright new innovators to create tomorrow’s great businesses, and to help these new young businesses to access market opportunities, finance, and other specialist support. It’s often challenging for entrepreneurs just starting out on their business journeys - they don’t know who best to get advice from, how to market themselves and their businesses, where to connect with specialist service providers, or how to meet other like-minded entrepreneurs. This is where these informal entrepreneur communities provide a valuable and creative lifeline that is so instrumental to success.