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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.
Last week, confidence on Wall Street was sent soaring to all-time highs following the April jobs report from the U.S. Department of Labor—employers added 165,000 jobs for the month and unemployment fell to its lowest point since the end of 2008. The confidence of entrepreneurs is on the rise as well according to the latest Startup Confidence Index.
I first visited the Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology in Ghana when it first opened in 2008. It was impressive then and it has continued to impress since—helping incubate promising tech startups throughout the country. Five years later, it is part of a growing entrepreneurial ecosystem in Accra that is laying the foundation for future growth. In our final commentary on Africa, we hear from Alicia Robb, senior fellow at the Kauffman Foundation, who has just returned from Ghana about her thoughts on the progress being made.
With the ‘digital revolution’ in full swing and technological innovation advancing daily, the creative industries are expanding. However, the policies that guide the creative economy are too often outdated and based on business models that have been virtually swept away. Nesta, a UK-based foundation focused on innovation, has come up with a set of policy recommendations to guide the UK—and possibly serve as at least a discussion starter for other countries.
How often do you get more than 70% of self-professed conservative Republicans and liberal Democrats to agree? Apparently, when the topic is immigration reform and you ask about a proposal that includes “a pathway to citizenship, allowing more high-skilled workers and guest workers into the country, increasing border security and creating employer verification requirements.” Those are the core elements of the Gang of Eight proposal (S.744: Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act) being pushed by a bi-partisan group of U.S. senators.
Returning to Washington after a state / district work period, Congress picks up the immigration issue with a few hearings. The Joint Economic Committee has a two-part hearing on “Immigration and Its Contribution to Our Economic Strength” with witnesses from Americans for Tax Reform, Georgetown Public Policy Institute, Center for Immigration Studies and the American Enterprise Institute. The topic is also picked up in the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation as it examines potential reforms suggested by the ‘Gang of Eight’. Meanwhile, other hearings are scheduled to cover support of minority women entrepreneurs, regulatory burdens and health insurance fees on small businesses, and exports to Africa.
Botswana is among Africa’s richest countries and the continent’s oldest functioning post-colonial, multi-party democracy. It has low taxes and a stable government that has been ranked as Africa's least corrupt. But it needs entrepreneurs.
While the overall number of angel investors dropped substantially last year, don’t blame women angels—the percentage of women involved in angel investing nearly doubled within the past year.
Both houses of Congress are back in their home states and districts for a one week work period. They are scheduled to return to Washington next week.
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