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Young Entrepreneurs Rebranding Africa

President Obama's summit last week with African leaders in Washington, D.C., when not distracted by the Ebola outbreak, focused as expected on investment opportunities for American businesses in the energy sector. And yet, it was clear the nature of our interface is changing forever on the continent where a new generation of African job creators and their startups are the driving phenomenon in Africa’s growth trajectory.

on August 11, 2014
Category:  Global  Growth & Poverty 
Committee Calls for More Data, Support Targeted to Female Entrepreneurs

While female entrepreneurs continue to increase their contributions to the U.S. economy, a new report suggests that Congress can and should do more to help them start and scale new firms. 21st Century Barriers to Women’s Entrepreneurship, a report released last week by the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, identified three primary challenges: fair access to capital, fair access to federal contracts and business training and counseling specific to female entrepreneurs.

on July 28, 2014
Category:  Capitol Hill 
Angel Investors Spread their Wings
Referred to as “mentor financing”, business angels continue to make great contributions to startups. Last week, I talked with some of them in Washington, DC, about the latest trends in angel investor pools outside the United States. Encouraged by improving policy frameworks, I found that they are now spreading their wisdom and seed capital to new parts of the world.
on March 31, 2014
G20 Leaders Suggest Entrepreneurship Education to Combat Youth Unemployment

The G20 Leaders Summit concluded last week in St. Petersburg, Russia, producing a 27-page G20 Leaders' Declaration document that outlines a plan for strong and sustained global economic growth. Weak growth in the aftermath of the global recession and persistently high unemployment—especially among youth—were at the top of the list of challenges.

on September 09, 2013
Category:  Global 
A Message from Taipei

Today I am opening the APEC Start-Up Accelerator Leadership Summit here in Taipei. The summit is challenging 30 startups along with 200 top executives and officials from the APEC region to re-think past assumptions about how the public and private sectors can collaborate to build sustainable startup ecosystems in the region.

on August 12, 2013
Category:  Global 
Revisiting the American Story

The free flow of skilled human capital was identified as a top priority at an Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) senior officials innovation meeting I led in Medan, Indonesia, this past weekend. The approval therefore by the U.S. Senate last Thursday of its version of immigration reform legislation was met with keen interest. Why is this legislation so important for the United States?

on July 01, 2013
Remembering Rule of Law in Honduras

In this era of sophisticated public policy around enabling high-growth entrepreneurship, governments should be mindful to not forget the basics. A survey conducted last November in Honduras found that gang violence was forcing the closure of 1600 companies across the country. This is a good reminder that supporting startups to scale up in this part of the world must include deep institutional reforms to strengthen the rule of law and the judicial system.

on May 20, 2013
Startup Global

Thousands of people from 135 countries have already confirmed their participation for next month’s week-long Global Entrepreneurship Congress (GEC) and festival in Rio de Janeiro. As chair of the GEC for the past few years, I have witnessed the emergence of this global platform for collaboration among entrepreneurs, their investors and national leaders held outside the United States. So what happens at the GEC?

on February 25, 2013
Category:  General 
Gulf States Focus on New Starts

At the Global Entrepreneurial Summit (GES) in Dubai last week, it was clear to me that there is a new level of engagement in developing more entrepreneurial economies at the highest levels of government in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. The summit, a collaboration between the U.A.E. Prime Minister’s office and the Obama Administration, was an effort to leverage U.S. strengths in high growth entrepreneurship. Now that the summit is over, we take a look at the challenges before policymakers in the region in making the path easier for even more nascent entrepreneurs to succeed in the future.

on December 17, 2012
Category:  Global 
We Still Need a Startup Nation Movement

A recent blog by Dan Isenberg from Babson College argues that there has been too much focus on startups around the world and that “infinitely more important is to embed scale-up.” Of course, Dan has a point in that I frequently hear leaders outside the United States lament their lack of billion dollars firms, but I think we are far from the point when we can stop advocating for better support for new starts. Not only is most of the world still focused on size not age of firms—talking “SMEs”—but we still do not know enough about the science of startups and how to best support those that want to scale. As with kids—to play along with Isenberg’s analogy—we have to help firms start better if they are to scale later in life and now is not the time to pull back the throttle on legitimizing founders and startups as a centrepiece of that economy policy.

on December 03, 2012
Category:  Global 

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