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It has been two years this week since the Kauffman Foundation took extensive research and data analysis around new firm formation, crafted a single document, and labeled it “The Startup Act.” Renaming the conversation that PDE had started earlier around how policymakers can make it easier for startups to emerge, create jobs and grow, was very effective in getting policymakers in Washington to take a look at entrepreneurship through the lens of helping new and young firms. But how far has America come in getting something done on their behalf?
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.
Pressing ahead with its plan to build an entrepreneurial economy, Malaysia’s Ministry of Finance will host the fourth Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) on October 11-12, 2013. With the expected participation of U.S. President Barack Obama and other heads of state, the summit in Kuala Lumpur is set to be a milestone for Malaysia’s quest to become an entrepreneurship hub. I met with the planners in Kuala Lumpur recently to discuss progress.
Earlier this month, the U.S. Department of the Treasury delayed a key provision of Affordable Care Act (ACA)—the requirement that companies with more than 50 employees extend health insurance to their full-time staff. Then, the House of Representatives passed a bill extending the same relief to individuals, who under the law would start facing tax penalties if they go without health insurance next year. It prompted me to take a fresh look at progress overall.
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?
Every day—while building roads, giving inoculations, sitting at computer screens—individuals are quietly thinking: “I know a better way to do this.” Or: “I could create something new that would make this easier for everyone.”
And then they go back to work, never transforming their thoughts into action. Why does this happen, and how can we unleash these hidden ideas?
The Obama Administration is now coming up on the end of the first 100 days, so it is a good time to revisit its innovation agenda to determine which directions it has taken. Although it is too early to judge any outcomes, we see positive signs that the role of innovation and entrepreneurship is at the core of this Administration’s approach to the economy.
Last week, I argued in favor more high-skilled immigration to bring additional entrepreneurial talent into the country for the near future. Today, I want to focus on an urgent policy issue that needs to be addressed to produce results over the long-run. Improvements in education are essential to equipping American citizens with entrepreneurial skills. Creative thinking and prudent risk-taking are no different than any other skills people are born with; they are likely to be useless unless the skill is developed through education and experience.
“Lizard King” John Bello describes his first entrepreneurial venture as a miserable failure. Bello launched South Beach Beverage Co. in 1995. Despite the popularity of other geo-based drink brands such as Nantucket Nectars and AriZona iced tea, South Beach didn’t resonate with consumers, not even in the upscale Florida community that shared its name. Within two months, Bello knew the $2 million startup investment was heading, well, south.
Last week, I participated in the NASVF Annual Conference in Oklahoma City where experts discussed again how to ensure that credit crunches do not negatively impact start-up performance. The good news is that those gathering at this conference started from a common appreciation that entrepreneurship cannot be on the sidelines of economic and financial policy.
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