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In my final post of 2013, I summarize my top of mind developments in the world’s entrepreneurship data chest. Next year will herald a new era in evidence-based programming and policymaking as practitioners and policymakers alike—now committed to new firm formation—demand better data and analysis around what entrepreneurship promotion efforts are working and what is hype.
I know few of you plan to comb through entrepreneurship data and analysis over the holidays but the following summary might be helpful to all of us as we embark upon a renewed effort in 2014 to fill the gaps in what we can tell those who are eager to help founders start and scale new firms. This list is by no means comprehensive but rather what was most visible to me as a global observer and commentator. Please let me know what I missed.
Early in his Administration, President Enrique Peña Nieto embarked on a serious mission to fuel entrepreneurial growth by challenging Mexico to better tap into its people’s creativity and boost productivity. On January 11, 2013—less than two months after he took office—he signed a decree that created the National Institute for Entrepreneurs (INADEM). Few governments have institutionalized their commitment to building an entrepreneurship ecosystem as highly as Mexico, which now has a decentralized administrative office of the Secretariat of Economy dedicated to entrepreneurs.
I ended Global Entrepreneurship Week 2013 last week in Moscow just in time to see a GEW-themed bus driving around different universities, schools and gatherings while testing young peoples’ entrepreneurial skills and engaging them in the world of founding businesses. Skeptics in the international community might want to take a closer look at what cities can do – even in environments where there are persistent national barriers to new firm formation.
December is here already, but some policymakers in the U.S. are not ready to end the year with entrepreneurship-enabling legislation on the back burner. Taking an “across-all-industries” approach, the Start-up Jobs and Innovation Act introduced last month in the Senate aims to stimulate investment in research-intensive startups.
As another November fades into our rearview mirror, we are again reminded that the phenomenon of entrepreneurship is not something that belongs to any one particular community or country. Economies that have been historically less supportive of capitalism—like Venezuela or Iran—are seeing the rise of strong entrepreneur-led startup communities. And equally as important, those communities are bolstered by increasing support from policymakers, academics, investors, media and other startup champions.
The work to support entrepreneurs continues and it reaches a high point this week as Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) launches today in 140 countries with more than 7.5 million participants involved. Thousands of brand new startups are taking their first step this week, while others are driving their next growth phase.
In the midst of angst about Argentina’s political environment for businesses, Buenos Aires has made a strong commitment to review policies and programs with a vision of unleashing a new wave of entrepreneurs that will put the city back in the top places to start and grow a startup. During this year’s Global Entrepreneurship Week, the City Government will be presenting the Buenos Aires City Entrepreneurship's Master Plan.
Next week, King Mohammed VI of Morocco is visiting President Obama in Washington, DC, on the heels of an announcement that his Majesty’s government will convene an entrepreneurship summit in 2014 with the U.S. Government. Morocco has much to gain from its new partnership with the United States around startups.
Holding an American and British passport, I enjoy the freedom to move easily among economies which is important given that I am now involved in advancing entrepreneurship in 140 countries. As APEC gets ready to complete the rollout of its APEC travel card and other regions outside the European Community develop single visa plans, I wonder how easy it is for current and aspiring entrepreneurs and investors to get around. Is it indeed getting better?
Last week, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) moved one step further in enlarging the pool of capital available to entrepreneurs when it unanimously voted to propose regulations to allow unaccredited U.S. investors to invest in startups and small businesses for equity, as set out in Title III of the JOBS Act. I took a look at reactions to this latest step and how it compares to a couple of other nations on a similar mission.
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