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After two consecutive months of increases (April and May), small business owner confidence dropped in June according to the National Federation of Independent Businesses. The latest Small Business Optimism Index shows a continued see-saw trend that remains mired between the depths of the recession in 2009 and the heights of the economic expansion of 2004-2005.
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke makes a couple of appearances on Capitol Hill this week as he outlines monetary policy and the state of the U.S. economy. Meanwhile, the House Small Business Committee examines how the IRS selects, classifies and audits the tax returns of small businesses. Other hearings cover topics such as: clean energy financing, pooled retirement plans for small businesses, regulatory burdens and more.
Each day, Innovation Daily checks the pulse of global innovation--courtesy of Innovation America. Here, we take a look at a handful of relevant stories it compiled last week.
Unemployment rates in Spain are one of the highest in the developed world, hovering around 25% this year. Worse, for those under the age of 25 the joblessness rate is more than double (57%). On a recent visit to Barcelona, I met a Prince doing something about it.
While debate continues whether the world is in economic recovery or facing a long-continuing crisis, Switzerland continues to go about its business. The small European nation held on to the top spot of the 2013 edition of the Global Innovation Index, co-published by Cornell University, INSEAD, and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO, a specialized agency of the United Nations).
The European Commission is getting active in the world of accelerators and startups—announcing a new network of 20 programs including recognized leaders like Nesta, Seedcamp, TechStars London, Startup Weekend, Bethnel Green Ventures and Seed-DB. The Accelerator Assembly, backed by the EC as part of its Startup Europe initiative, is focused on improving the environment for web-based entrepreneurship through a collection of events, forums, workshops and research.
Lawmakers return to Washington this week and it’s going to be a busy one on the House side. Most eyes will be on actions related to the immigration reform debate where Republican leadership in the House have said that the comprehensive bill passed by the Senate is a nonstarter. And although there aren’t any committee hearings this week on the issue, there is a full slate of hearings on other topics, including: the impact of competitiveness on entrepreneurs, state strategies for small business growth, regulatory reform, experiential education, capital formation, the delay of the employer mandate of the Affordable Care Act and more.
The Policy Dialogue on Entrepreneurship is pleased to share a free electronic copy of Vivek Wadhwa’s ebook, The Immigrant Exodus: Why America Is Losing the Global Race to Capture Entrepreneurial Talent. Wadhwa is an entrepreneur and academic who was been on the front lines of the immigration debate for the past few years and the book is a 2012 Economist Book of the Year.
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?
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