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Making what is urgently needed consistent with what is needed for the long-term is not a bad idea. The current House bill on the economic stimulus nicely blends the short- and long-term perspectives, particularly in the way it addresses renewable energy. The challenge now is to figure out how to achieve progress in developing and commercializing green technologies without turning the government into an obstacle to the entrepreneurial innovation needed to end the climate change and economic crises.
At the Global Entrepreneurial Summit (GES) in Dubai last week, it was clear to me that there is a new level of engagement in developing more entrepreneurial economies at the highest levels of government in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. The summit, a collaboration between the U.A.E. Prime Minister’s office and the Obama Administration, was an effort to leverage U.S. strengths in high growth entrepreneurship. Now that the summit is over, we take a look at the challenges before policymakers in the region in making the path easier for even more nascent entrepreneurs to succeed in the future.
There has been a lot written in the past few days on how to revive the Venture Capital (VC) industry in the U.S. However, we need to keep the bigger picture in mind and avoid making the mistake of equating new firm creation, job creation and economic recovery to the health of the VC industry. VC investments are only one component of the capital market for new firms. Policymakers’ efforts should focus on the larger entrepreneurial ecosystem, rather than just on the VC industry.
I was alarmed last week to see the House introduce a health care overhaul bill with a measure to punish certain businesses that do not provide health insurance. Companies with payrolls exceeding $400,000 will have to pay a penalty equal to 8% of payroll. Companies with payrolls between $250,000 and $400,000 a year would pay between 6 and 2 percent, and only those with less than $250,000 would be exempt.
Ahead of the Senate Finance Committee’s long-awaited vote on its health care bill, I thought it would be helpful to once more comment on its effect on our entrepreneurs. The status quo in healthcare undermines entrepreneurship: small businesses are paying a higher cost to offer health insurance to their employees because of the smaller size of their workforce and the lack of competition in the small group market. Some entrepreneurs are dropping this benefit entirely not because they don’t want to provide insurance to their employees, but because the survival of their startups requires it. According to one estimate, 52 percent of workers in businesses with less than 50 employees were uninsured or underinsured during 2007. Even worse, many potential entrepreneurs and the talent they need to launch their ventures feel trapped in jobs that offer affordable health coverage for themselves and their families.
Over time I have become increasingly confused as to the meaning of “youth entrepreneurship.” While the myth of entrepreneurs as “modern day Mozarts” in garages (to borrow Carl Schramm’s phrase) is slowly being dispelled, it seems our human instinct to avoid conversations about age is alive and well! The reason this matters now is because governments and non-governmental organizations around the globe appear to be ramping up investment in “youth enterprise.”
As part of an effort to get our economy back on track by unleashing entrepreneurship, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill designed to provide small businesses and entrepreneurs with new and expanded assistance. H.R. 2352, the Job Creation through Entrepreneurship Act of 2009...
In the midst of much speculation surrounding the upcoming decisions on how to best address the poor performance of venture capital (VC) in the U.S., a new study on VC opportunities and returns offers myth-busting findings. In “Right-Sizing the U.S. Venture Capital Industry,” Kauffman Foundation Senior Fellow Paul Kedrosky draws interesting conclusions on the size the industry needs to be in order to function as an economic force. In particular, he argues that the sector must shrink if VC is to provide competitive returns and secure its own future as a credible asset class.
On January 31st, 2011, the White House announced Startup America, a public/private initiative to rally efforts to accelerate high-growth entrepreneurship in the U.S. by expanding access to capital, creating a national network for entrepreneurship education, enhancing the commercialization of federally-funded innovations and getting rid of tax and paperwork barriers for startups. Given the importance of new firms to America’s economy and the national urgency to create jobs, I take a look this week at what Washington accomplished—leading up to the summer break—in response to the President’s call for action.
Amidst all the bad news in Iceland related to the economic crisis and the disruption caused earlier this year by the Eyjafjallajokull volcano, the country has seen some entrepreneurial silver linings. The stream of positive signs I noticed began in March this year when Iceland...
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