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With the holiday season approaching, almost all eyes in Congress are on the fiscal cliff deadline that is now only two weeks ahead. A recent proposal from House Speaker John Boehner with a couple of key concessions have led to a cautious optimism that a deal will be in place before long. In the meantime, the committee hearings schedule on Capitol Hill is quiet on the entrepreneurship front.
The Board of Trustees of the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation last week announced the election of Thomas A. McDonnell as the Foundation's new president and chief executive officer. McDonnell, an experienced business leader with a track record of building global organizations that are both innovative and philanthropic, recently stepped down as CEO of DST Systems, Inc. He has been a Kauffman trustee since 2003 and chairman of the board since 2006. McDonnell succeeds Carl Schramm, who served as the Foundation's president and CEO from 2002 to 2011. Since January of this year, Kauffman trustee Benno Schmidt has served as interim CEO while the board conducted a national search for a new leader.
As fiscal cliff talks continue amid mutual claims of ‘distrust’ from both parties, other discussions continue on Capitol Hill. The five FCC commissioners are scheduled to appear before the House Committee on Energy & Commerce this week to discuss spectrum auctions and other efforts to meet the soaring demand for wireless broadband services. The auctions were part of the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 and originated in the House Energy and Commerce Committee as Chairman Walden’s Jumpstarting Opportunity with Broadband Spectrum (JOBS) Act. Other hearings cover the future of NASA, tax incentives to promote energy efficiency and small business recovery efforts following Hurricane Sandy.
This year has afforded me the opportunity to visit dozens of nations and talk with their entrepreneurs. One nation remained elusive to me. In 2011, Thailand participated for the first time in Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) and I was keen to visit in either 2011 or 2012, but despite good faith efforts, I have been unable to make it there, mostly due to the likes of tragic flooding, the worst in 50 years last year for the country. So I turn today to virtual research.
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.
Massachusetts is still the top state in the country when it comes to the new economy, according to the latest State New Economy Index from the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation. The report is the sixth in the series from ITIF with previous indexes published in 1999, 2002, 2007, 2008 and 2010. Massachusetts has claimed the top spot in each year.
A recent blog by Dan Isenberg from Babson College argues that there has been too much focus on startups around the world and that “infinitely more important is to embed scale-up.” Of course, Dan has a point in that I frequently hear leaders outside the United States lament their lack of billion dollars firms, but I think we are far from the point when we can stop advocating for better support for new starts. Not only is most of the world still focused on size not age of firms—talking “SMEs”—but we still do not know enough about the science of startups and how to best support those that want to scale. As with kids—to play along with Isenberg’s analogy—we have to help firms start better if they are to scale later in life and now is not the time to pull back the throttle on legitimizing founders and startups as a centrepiece of that economy policy.
A new report from the Kauffman Foundation reveals that the pace of recovery in hiring and job creation since 2008 is stronger in newer firms – those two years old or younger – than in more established companies. Job Creation, Worker Churning, and Wages at Young Businesses is the seventh report in a series using data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s Business Dynamic Statistics.
Another narrowly focused week lies ahead as the calendar slowly gives way into the final month for Republicans and Democrats to find compromise and avoid a $500 billion mix of tax increases and spending cuts. Leading the way is a Joint Economic Committee hearing on the fiscal cliff itself—scheduled for Thursday. The only other hearing of interest scheduled at this point is on the impact of international tech transfer on American R&D.
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