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This past Friday I was surrounded by entrepreneurship education leaders from all sectors the Future of Entrepreneurship Education Summit, a gathering held at the University of Central Florida where actors of our entrepreneurship ecosystem met alongside established entrepreneurship educators to discuss current trends and ideas to nourish the entrepreneurship mindset.
In 2009, the Irish economy underwent one of the deepest recessions in the EU, with its economy shrinking by as much as 10%. Late in 2010, Ireland received an €85bn financial rescue package. Clearly, the winner of Ireland´s general elections held on Sunday (according to polls so far Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny) will have a lot on his shoulders. However, if the past is any indication, Ireland has the potential to resurge economically.
We do not have to puzzle long over what ignited the Arab Youth to take over the streets calling for reforms in their governments. The protests have been against long tyrannies, unemployment and have been fueled by the power of social media. The act that triggered the pro-democracy movement in many Arab countries, the self-immolation of a Tunisian in protest over the confiscation of his fruit stand, shows that the events of late are also an uprising against anti-entrepreneurial barriers. Clearly, protesters have issued a call to Arab leaders to not stifle the innovative aspirations of their people--especially the younger generation--which leaders themselves have armed through education and who are now impatient to put their education to good use.
While entrepreneurs can be found anywhere, I take particular interest in what the most populous countries are doing to comb their citizens for entrepreneurs. Italy is the sixth most populous country in Europe, and the twenty-third most populous in the world. It also has the world's seventh-largest nominal GDP. Unfortunately, it also has the sixth highest government budget and a large public deficit, such that the economic confidence crisis in the Euro zone that sparked in Greece put a spotlight on Italy´s economy, which faces similar insolvency risk. With Italy´s public debt around 120 percent of GDP and growing, policy options are increasingly constrained. Fortunately, spurring entrepreneurship is not necessarily expensive (although it does take political commitment) and is a proven source of economic energy.
We are a week away from another historic global entrepreneurship event - this time in Shanghai, China, for the annual gathering of global leaders in the entrepreneurial movement led by the Kauffman Foundation.
It is an important week for entrepreneurship around the world, especially here in China where we recently wrapped up the Kauffman Foundation-led Global Entrepreneurship Congress, bringing together impressive leaders in the field from over 100 nations. In addition to launching and recognizing more than 100 national campaigns to promote entrepreneurship through this year’s Global Entrepreneurship Week (scheduled for November 14-20), we have witnessed this week entrepreneurship as a burgeoning phenomenon from Chile to China.
Despite political moves that have been making foreign businesses and investors in Venezuela nervous in the past few years, entrepreneurship has managed to survive. For many Venezuelans, entrepreneurship is a way of facing the prolonged political and economic troubles in many sectors of the economy, as the Washington Post article “With Chávez, Some Venezuelan Entrepreneurs See Opportunity” explained when the President won re-election.
Israel is one of the most innovative nations on earth. Israelis (approximately 7.6 million in number) are well-educated, have a global outlook, ties around the world, and most importantly, a positive view of entrepreneurship. Most Israeli entrepreneurs understand ways of moving innovations into the marketplace and how to establish themselves as global companies from the get go. It is only natural that there is so much interest around the world in Israel’s entrepreneurship path.
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.
One hundred years of banked future hydrocarbon revenues, massive investments in higher education and a common legal framework based on western law all offer this small nation—the size of Connecticut—tremendous potential to be a hub for startups in the GCC. I find it curious therefore that at Qatar’s famous “Doha Forum” I participated in today, entrepreneurship and startups were not on the agenda.
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