Jonathan Ortmans

Building One Global Entrepreneurial Ecosystem

Month: July 2010

Combing the World for Cleantech Entrepreneurs

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This year has brought a lot of productive give-and-take of ideas on clean energy innovation by people around the world who saw opportunity rather than doom in the combination of environmental and financial challenges. Last May, for example, I joined over 140 participants from all sectors at the White House Energy Innovation Conference to discuss how to accelerate energy innovation and support entrepreneurs and small businesses in the energy sector. During follow-up regional meetings in June, scientists, entrepreneurs, innovators, venture capitalists, military and government experts, and others discussed policy and processes that can enhance all stages of the energy innovation pipeline. Earlier this month, the United Nations Environment Program and the Renewable Energy Policy Network for the 21st Century showed concrete results (at least in terms of effort) when they revealed in a pair of new reports that by early 2010 more than 100 countries enacted policies to boost the development of a green economy and businesses in the fields of renewable energy and energy efficiency.
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Iceland: Conquering the Economic Crisis with Entrepreneurship

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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 replaced the United States as the INSEAD world champion in innovation. Then in Dubai that same month, Iceland won the Global Entrepreneurship Congress award for best entrepreneurship movement during the 2009 Global Entrepreneurship Week. And more recently, entrepreneurship was incorporated into public discourse as a main driver of economic regeneration when Iceland’s President led a summit in his country on innovation, entrepreneurship, and green energy. With Iceland getting so much attention for being on the brink of bankruptcy, I thought such good news about signs of an entrepreneur-led economic resurgence deserves note.

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Beyond the World Cup: A Diamond for Growth

Spain’s victory yesterday in the World Cup in Johannesburg marks the conclusion to an exciting competition. However, with the media pointing to some of the dashed economic expectations among South Africans these past few weeks, I decided to inquire a little more into the entrepreneurial part of South Africa’s economic development equation which led me to uncover some important trends and opportunities suggesting that the country might be well on its way to achieving the goal set forth by the country’s new president, Jacob Zuma, to create 4 million new jobs by 2014. Continue reading

Reshaping Economic Landscape in Saudi Arabia

As the King of Saudi Arabia met in the U.S. with President Barack Obama on June 29th, the National U.S.-Arab Chamber of Commerce (NUSACC) released its firstnewsletter dedicated to entrepreneurship in Saudi Arabia. The news suggests that the country is gradually gaining a supportive entrepreneurship ecosystem. Continue reading

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