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The creative genius among the young is perhaps one of the least-tapped resources in many economies, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa. If given the opportunity to explore entrepreneurship as a career path and a business-friendly environment, young people can unleash their potential—creating gains for all in terms of quality of life, employment and wealth generation. This Friday, I will get a first-hand look at some of that potential as I moderate part of the African Innovation Summit—sponsored by the U.S. Department of State in coordination with Meridian International Center—that will welcome more than 60 young African entrepreneurs to Washington, DC. And later this year, thanks to a new partnership, we will see some of the continent’s most promising entrepreneurs compete during Global Entrepreneurship Week.
At a Community College Workforce Alliance meeting today here in Richmond, Virginia, there were clear signs of heightened interest in the role that community colleges can play in advancing entrepreneurship as a means of getting Americans back to work. Following support from President Barack Obama and Startup America, plus a recent announcement of a $1 million grant from the Kauffman Foundation to scale one model to more schools around the country, a new generation of educators appear intent on maximizing the potential of their communities to produce more new innovative firms.
Despite more research and data from the World Bank and OECD, while plenty of attention has been given to “SMEs” in the past, multinational government gatherings have largely ignored the importance of stimulating new high-impact startups as a prime global economic growth strategy. This needs to change.
Last November, Costa Rica joined the global movement to unleash startups by celebrating Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW). The response surprised its local champions. Costa Rica´s host, Yo Emprendedor, managed to get strong support from 28 key partners from across the private, public, NGO and education sectors—including the Ministry of the Economy, the largest media group in the country and angel investors.
One of the prime reasons I founded the Public Forum Institute was a strong belief in the role ordinary citizens can play in addressing chronic stalemates on vital national policy issues. After moderating hundreds of congressionally-chaired health policy forums over the years, I conclude it will be other developments outside of top-down reform that drive improvements in health care. It seems inevitable that with so many people’s income dependent on our health care industry, even the most well-meaning politicians face a never-ending path of discourse in their efforts to improve health care without disrupting such a large chunk of the American economy. The revolution in consumer data may be just one of those new game changers.
While the Baltic countries are small compared to their EU partners, they are said to have an outsized role in generating new start-ups, particularly through their big ideas in the tech sector. Today, we look at Lithuania, which has been campaigning aggressively through Global Entrepreneurship Week in the Baltics and has rapidly been gaining a place on the entrepreneurial map.
The Polish startup scene is looking increasingly vibrant. For some time now, technology blogs have been covering Polish startup expos, competitions and meetings such as Startup Weekend, PitchRally, E-nnovation and Startup Fest that are happening with some regularity across major cities. And Poland was one of the first winners of a Global Entrepreneurship Week Award. Is Poland poised to take the lead in Eastern Europe?
As part of our ongoing discussion about the globalization of the startup movement, we look today at one nation’s strategy that appears to be very effective. Present at the recently concluded Global Entrepreneurship Congress in Liverpool were the leaders of Start-Up Chile, an almost two-year old initiative that has rapidly gained traction around the world. However, while it carries a similar name to other national initiatives around the globe, it has a very different approach.
The JOBS (Jumpstart Our Business Startups) Act is one small step away from becoming law after its fast passage in Congress and President Obama has given reassurance that he will sign the bill when it gets to his desk this week (probably Thursday). The passage of the JOBS Act last Tuesday during a politically charged time is proof that entrepreneurship promotion is a bipartisan issue. As the clock moves relentlessly toward November, both sides of the aisle found common focus and set out to solve the entrepreneurial access to capital problem. The American public should be proud of how functional Washington was these past few weeks.
With stadiums rising across the country for the 2014 World Cup soccer tournament and in Rio de Janeiro for the 2016 Olympics, it is clear Brazil itself is rising on the world stage. The country’s economic growth has led it to overtake the UK as the world's sixth-largest economy while the announcement last week that it won the bid to host the next Global Entrepreneurship Congress (GEC) will spotlight the role that entrepreneurs have played in the country’s newfound economic prowess and international standing.
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