Auri Evokari

Design Innovation for Entrepreneurship Ecosystems: Fostering Startup Culture in Southern Africa


Auri is a Doctoral Researcher with the Institute for Design Innovation. After working in entrepreneurship support both in her home country Finland as well as in Southern Africa, she is driven to enable early-stage technology startup entrepreneurship through her research.

Auri holds a Master of Arts degree from the University of Helsinki in African Studies. She coupled her cultural studies with cross-disciplinary minor studies in Economics, Leadership, Philosophy and Environmental Politics.

PhD research description

Auri's research aims to understand the local startup culture in Namibia, South Africa and Zambia as well as the practices that foster it in order to design a model for entrepreneurship ecosystems in Southern Africa. The model will provide actionable insight for policymakers and ecosystem actors to plan and implement entrepreneurship support that suits the local context of Southern Africa.

PhD supervisors

Auri is currently being supervised by Dr Ida Telalbasic from the Institute for Design Innovation and from the Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

Awards, grants or scholarships received

Auri is the recipient of a grant for full-time studies from the Finnish Foundation for Economic Education.

Interests and activities

Auri enjoys coaching early-stage startups in pitching, as well as in business and product development, using design thinking and Lean Startup methods. She gets a kick out of training entrepreneurship trainers for improved entrepreneurship support.
You can find Auri on Twitter and LinkedIn.

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