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According to The Times CEO Summit here in London, Britain is mid-table in the world growth league, but committed to a new rigorous economic agenda. Now that the painful job of drastic budget cuts is underway and an often angry public has aired its grievances, Prime Minister David Cameron appears to be intently focused on new firm formation, the know-how economy, the next digital revolution and private input into “innovating down” health costs. He is determined to protect his AAA Standard & Poors evaluation and keep his economy from heading in the direction of others like Greece.
With more women than men in the U.S. earning PhDs in the biological sciences and estimates that around 15 percent of the U.S. GNP over the next two decades will be comprised of life science activities, it is no surprise that women's entrepreneurship has attracted so much attention recently in both the developed and developing countries. And in many other countries, women's entrepreneurship is even more important as a separate track for cultural reasons.
Last week, a patent reform bill, the America Invents Act (H.R. 1249), passed the House of Representatives. On March 8, the Senate passed a similar patent bill (S. 23) by a broad margin. There is no doubt our patent system is broken with backlogs and litigation, but the bill’s net effect on innovative entrepreneurship is still unclear.
It is time to implement new methods to shake our economy out of this lingering spell of slow growth (a disappointing 2% rate) and high unemployment (hovering around 9%). And while the large federal budget deficit does not leave much room for implementing more traditional economic remedies, the Kauffman Foundation—at a press conference this morning here at the National Press Club in Washington, DC—suggested it is time for legislation. Startup legislation.
I hope that like me, you have had the chance to witness the burgeoning phenomenon of entrepreneurship curriculum in American higher education. More and more, students have the opportunity to explore entrepreneurship on campus. In the process of creating entrepreneurship programs, universities have become more entrepreneurial themselves. This is great news. Colleges and universities are natural incubators of creativity and new ways of looking at things. And this new reality might mean that colleges and universities are better preparing students for success in the American economy where more professionals need to make their own jobs.
Most policymakers are starting to both heed entrepreneurs for their job and wealth creation efforts during these tough times as well as pick up on one of our nation’s biggest source of high-growth start-ups: immigrant entrepreneurs. But if public reaction to a recent NPR segment and recent Washington Post commentary on the topic are anything to go by, I fear we have a long way to go to convince the average American citizen.
On January 31st, 2011, the White House announced Startup America, a public/private initiative to rally efforts to accelerate high-growth entrepreneurship in the U.S. by expanding access to capital, creating a national network for entrepreneurship education, enhancing the commercialization of federally-funded innovations and getting rid of tax and paperwork barriers for startups. Given the importance of new firms to America’s economy and the national urgency to create jobs, I take a look this week at what Washington accomplished—leading up to the summer break—in response to the President’s call for action.
Late September is always a busy
time in New York and Washington for world leaders. New York is crowded with
heads of state and visionaries at the UN Assembly or the Clinton Global
Initiative, and in Washington, DC, the World Bank Group and IMF
Annual Meetings that took place this past weekend always spur an assortment
of organizations with global economic development missions to gather their
flocks. We all wonder what all these expensive ‘meetings of the minds’ are
accomplishing. To share my own bias, it prompts me once a year to check in and
see how much development bureaucrats are really seeing and listening to the
entrepreneurs on the ground doing the work.
In two weeks, Global
Entrepreneurship Week kicks off with more than 40,000 events spread out over
a seven day period in 123 countries. At competitions like Startup Open for the
most promising new startups in 60 countries, to tournaments for cleantech ideas,
at stadiums where entrepreneurship will meet music and sports, from heads of
state to high school competitions, Global Entrepreneurship Week has become a
movement for the next generation of startups and entrepreneurs inspired by the
possibility of human endeavor for the benefit of all.
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