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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Venture capital has an important role to play in the creation and growth of new firms—but let’s not get carried away. That is the primary message from a former VC in a new article in the Harvard Business Review. This shouldn’t come as a surprise to regular PDE followers, but there are a number of common misconceptions about the scope, performance and success rate of venture capital for startups.
Created in 2007 during the Bush Administration and reauthorized in 2010 by President Obama, the America COMPETES Act is up for another reauthorization as major provisions are set to expire in 2013. The original law authorized $33.6 billion in appropriations from 2008 - 2010 for programs and activities in physical sciences and engineering research as well as STEM education and more. The reauthorization in 2010 increased the amount to $45.6 billion.
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