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Jonathan Ortmans

A Free Flow of Goods and Services – and Founders
Holding an American and British passport, I enjoy the freedom to move easily among economies which is important given that I am now involved in advancing entrepreneurship in 140 countries.  As APEC gets ready to complete the rollout of its APEC travel card and other regions outside the European Community develop single visa plans, I wonder how easy it is for current and aspiring entrepreneurs and investors to get around.  Is it indeed getting better?
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Posted by: Jonathan Ortmans
on November 04, 2013
Category:  Global 
The Long Road to Crowdfunding

Last week, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) moved one step further in enlarging the pool of capital available to entrepreneurs when it unanimously voted to propose regulations to allow unaccredited U.S. investors to invest in startups and small businesses for equity, as set out in Title III of the JOBS Act. I took a look at reactions to this latest step and how it compares to a couple of other nations on a similar mission.

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Posted by: Jonathan Ortmans
on October 28, 2013
Kuala Lumpur Kicks Off ‘Startup’ Policy Network
Following last week’s comments on the Global Entrepreneurship Research Network, I offer a second and final post on matters arising from the government-convened entrepreneurship summit in Kuala Lumpur. The roundtable discussion among “startup policy” experts on October 12 signaled a new chapter in knowledge creation around how governments can better enable their startup communities.
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Posted by: Jonathan Ortmans
on October 21, 2013
Better Entrepreneurship Research for Policymakers Worldwide
While the number of programs aimed at encouraging more entrepreneurship has increased rapidly, research has not kept pace. A new effort announced last Friday by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry aims to help fill that void. The Global Entrepreneurship Research Network (GERN) was founded by the Kauffman Foundation, World Bank and Endeavor Insight to standardize data and work to gain a better understanding of policy barriers and what the right policies are for fostering entrepreneurship. 
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Posted by: Jonathan Ortmans
on October 14, 2013
All Eyes on Kuala Lumpur Despite Obama Cancellation
Today I am headed to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, for a government-convened gathering of entrepreneurs and their supporters focused on advancing entrepreneurship in Muslim-majority countries. Although U.S. President Barack Obama had to cancel at the last minute due to the federal government shutdown, Secretary of State John Kerry is representing the U.S. Government and it promises to be no less of an important week for policy wonks, entrepreneurs and program leads keen on knowledge creation.
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Posted by: Jonathan Ortmans
on October 07, 2013
Category:  Global 
Old Hands and New Starts in Britain
Being born in Britain might explain my bias, but I find myself asking again whether we have overlooked the important leadership role of royalty in providing help from the top for bottom-up startup communities. I recently spoke with the Prince of Wales at St. James Palace in London and while he is from a different generation, I heard a man with his heart and mind fully in step with today’s unemployed youth and the path they must beat to create their own future as entrepreneurs.
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Posted by: Jonathan Ortmans
on September 30, 2013
Jobs Act Crowdfunding Measure Goes into Effect Today
Today marks a new era in entrepreneurial finance as the measure in the 2012 JOBS Act (Jumpstart Our Business Start-ups Act) allowing “emerging growth” companies to ask accredited investors for equity investments publicly (e.g., through social media) without having to register the shares for public trading goes into effect.
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Posted by: Jonathan Ortmans
on September 23, 2013
Category:  Capitol Hill 
Ecosystem Physics - Lessons from Egypt
With all the chatter around the Middle East, we welcome a guest post from Mike Ducker. Over the last two years, he has been the Entrepreneur-In-Residence for the U.S. State Department's Global Entrepreneurship Program (GEP) in Egypt, a project funded by USAID and centered on starting, growing and facilitating financing for Egyptian entrepreneurs. His observations show once more the remarkable similarities around the world in terms of how to support startups. [More]
Posted by: Jonathan Ortmans
on September 23, 2013
Category:  Global 
Startup Community Warming Up in Iceland

Despite the profound impact of the banking sector collapse in 2008 on Iceland’s economy, the island nation ranks 13th in this year’s Global Innovation Index, 14th in the Ease of Doing Business rankings, and 23rd in the Index of Economic Freedom. There has been much debate and disagreement regarding the key steps that put this social-market economy on a path to successful recovery but no one denies the contribution of the more silent actors transforming the economy for the better—its entrepreneurs. I recently sat down in Reykjavik with President Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson to learn about the entrepreneurs who are building what they call an “anti-fragile” entrepreneurship ecosystem.

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Posted by: Jonathan Ortmans
on September 16, 2013
Category:  Global 
Croatia’s Entrepreneurial Impulse

Proud to have beaten the odds arising from a transition to independence since 1991 and the legacy of a war that only ended in 1995, Croatia officially joined the European Union on July 1, 2013. Last month, I accepted an invitation to visit with President Ivo Josipovic at his retreat on the Brijuni Islands and found a nation already embarking on its next mission.

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Posted by: Jonathan Ortmans
on September 09, 2013
Category:  Global 

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