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2020 has sent shockwaves through all industries and startups are left to face the same challenges as major corporations. Startups must showcase their ability to manage change and adapt to unpredictable circumstances to find solutions to problems that seem impossible to solve. However, it takes the startup community to come together for support to survive the pandemic. 

Connectivity may seem out of reach right now, but there are still plenty of ways to support the startup ecosystem during the us here are 5 ways to do so!

1 | Join Community Groups

Creating a sense of community within the startup ecosystem is key for mutual support in the upcoming months. This can be achieved through new projects ideas, advice, problem solving, brainstorming and discussions with like-minded people in large community groups. Everyday there are new groups set up on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Slack for startups within similar industries to liaise, share news, and engage with each other.  Additionally, it is vital for a startup to network and trust others as basically all startups are in the same position at this time. When a bond is strengthened between businesses, idea generation between teams can lead to a harmonious flow of innovative survival strategies as each business has the endless potential to inspire others. Similar virtual hubs exist on Slack, created by startups themselves or by coworking spaces allow for startups to get the chance to connect with the usual familiar faces they are used to seeing in the office on a regular basis. 

2 | Actively Engage with Each Other

One of the best ways to support like-minded sole-traders is to team up with those who are working hard to make the best of a difficult situation. There are a number of other startups in the ecosystem that are actively supporting one another. Make the effort to find startups in community groups to engage, share publications and updates, and help local talent thrive in the ecosystem to strengthen the community. As times are tough, employees may be working reduced hours, or in the worst case scenario, laid off. Therefore it is important to engage with each other's content, blogs, jobs ads, or news to keep a constant flow of activity going so that each employee can prove that they are a key driver to the business. There are so many simple ways to engage within the startup ecosystem- whether it's buying their products or services, following startups and commenting on their content, or sharing publications that they are involved in to a new audience. Not only does this benefit others- it benefits us too! Studies have shown that serving others in acts of kindness and assistance mental health benefits and boosts endorphins and resilience after a negative event. A favour to others is also a favour to ourselves.

3 | Communicate, Collaborate, and Share Resources 

Because we cannot connect physically for meetings or conferences, maintaining strong relationships between startups requires more effort and motivation. Although some networks are already familiar with online tools depending on their business size and model, there are still some beginners to virtual collaboration tools. There are even some tools advanced networks have recently taken advantage of to connect seamlessly with each other from home. Despite the circumstances, we aim to continue successful collaboration and open communication between our coworkers and the external community at this time, so make sure to check out our top collaboration tools for remote working. Some startups within the industry have had to make major changes in order to survive the pandemic. This takes a toll on their business, whether it be financial or not. These businesses have had to move away from their niche and build themselves from the ground up. The best way to support these startups is to communicate, collaborate, and share resources to connect and advise as if they were at a networking event. Keeping in close contact with similar companies in the industry who have faced serious challenges because of the pandemic can help them rebuild themselves - and give the supporting teams invaluable experience in crisis management and regrowth which is vital in facing the post-COVID world.

4 | Share & Attend Virtual Events

In Europe startups are praised as we support new ideas and innovation, and have even been described as the future of work . This is why so many startups rely on networking through meetups and tech events to build brand recognition and gain industry knowledge to improve their business strategy. However, now that physical events are cancelled due to government restrictions, startups in the industry may be finding it difficult to make the transition to virtual events. As teams are working at home, startups are resorting to building awareness through hosting and attending events online, and are using social media/websites to market them. Startups are usually small in size and are still in the process of organically generating an online presence and following, so their marketing efforts need to be heightened for as much exposure to the professional world as possible. As these events are pivotal in supporting each other, Talent Garden are also hosting free livestreams and virtual summits for communities to come together and broaden their tech knowledge and inspire flexible strategies for the future.   It is mutually beneficial to make the extra effort to promote each other's online marketing activities during this time as it will give startups a head start for physical events, meetups, open days after COVID. Attending these events for other businesses show support for the community from the comfort of your own home. You may even end up in a position that you will need to return the favour in the future. Attending and sharing events you think may be of interest to other startups in the ecosystem will enable businesses to remain stable during the virus and reach the objectives set while still working outside home. These events are the ideal platform to test new products or features, exchange skills, market research and to get creative. Community events within the ecosystem are so important to keep businesses engaged with each other- we suggest you check our Slack channel for some fun events we have lined up!

5 | Encourage Teams to Socialise

When teams are working from home, especially not knowing how long, living and working in the same confined space can often get lonely and repetitive which can take a toll on mental health. To support one another, it is important for startups, particularly the founders, to check in on their team and other freelancers who are in a similar situation. This can happen through virtual social events, video social calls, or simply by picking up the phone. Mental health practices are just as important outside the workplace as they are inside the workplace as healthy communication can inspire productivity, creativity, and cohesiveness. Socialising within the ecosystem also takes the edge off the feeling of isolation and pressure, as it is clearly an eventful time for many and everybody needs time during the day to destress. Regular video calls within teams allow for a positive atmosphere and stronger bond, as well as time to celebrate accomplishments and give employees something teams look forward to! This structure helps maintain a strong sense of inclusiveness and acts as a constant reminder of how instrumental everybody is to the company.
Article updated on: 09 August 2023
Talent Garden
Written by
Talent Garden, Digital Skills Academy

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