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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.
For each of the past 15 years, the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City comes out with a list of the fastest-growing urban startups across the U.S.—companies that create new jobs and wages for those in core urban areas with higher unemployment and poverty rates and lower median incomes. Happy Family, an organic baby food supplier based in New York City, tops the Inner City 100 for 2013 with a five year growth rate of 205%. Revolution Foods out of Oakland came in second place with a growth rate of 173% and Coyote Logistics from Chicago finished third with 126%.
Guatemala’s economic history has been defined by corruption, instability and broad social inequality. In that context, Rigoberta Menchu received the 1992 Nobel Peace Prize for her work in promoting indigenous rights in the country. There are now other unnoticed social changers: entrepreneurs who see hope in technology as a tool to overcome social divides, as one local entrepreneur told the New York Times.
When it comes to supporting entrepreneurs and small business owners in the U.S., local government and ecosystem players get the nod over those at the state or national level. And while they are largely an optimistic bunch about their prospects for growth in the coming year, they worry about sustaining their success.
Crowdfunding and other ‘innovative ideas for raising capital’ take center stage when Indiegogo co-founder Danae Ringelmann and others testify before the House Committee on Small Business this week. Other topics covered during hearings this week include: STEM education, regulatory reform, improving efficiency at the SBA, wireless competition, disaster response and the fiscal & economic effects of austerity.
If you are looking for a job, you may want to consider looking in North Dakota. According to a new survey by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the job growth rate in North Dakota is far beyond that of any other state. As policymakers across the country work to foster strong entrepreneurial ecosystems, Enterprising States: Getting Down to Small Business takes an in-depth look at the priorities, policies and programs of the 50 states that are vital for job growth and economic prosperity.
In this era of sophisticated public policy around enabling high-growth entrepreneurship, governments should be mindful to not forget the basics. A survey conducted last November in Honduras found that gang violence was forcing the closure of 1600 companies across the country. This is a good reminder that supporting startups to scale up in this part of the world must include deep institutional reforms to strengthen the rule of law and the judicial system.
When Congressional committee hearings look into “offshore profit shifting” of “multinational corporations”, we don’t usually mention it in this weekly post. But when the multinational corporation in question is Apple and its CEO and CFO are scheduled to testify, we will make an exception given its impact on the mobile startup space alone. Tim Cook appears before the U.S. Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigation on Tuesday to answer questions about its tax operations—and multiple sources are reporting he will likely use it to call for a major simplification of the tax code. But the Silicon Valley giant won’t be the only big name on the Hill this week.
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