The Chilean economy has been recognized as the most competitive of Latin America. In general, Chile has been characterized by political and economic stability and relatively low levels of corruption and offers one of the most advanced physical infrastructure systems in the region. The potential and proven track record of this economy has led to Chile’s recent accession to the OECD as its 31st member and its first member in South America. Not surprisingly, Chile is often a case study in economic development. The question is whether its model will show the power of entrepreneurship as an engine for prosperity? Continue reading
Following up on chatter following my blog last week discussing the need for caution around the quality of interventions that seek to provide technical support to entrepreneurs, I will continue the conversation thread this week with a post discussing another innovative entrepreneurial support program – iStart, which happens to open for business today. Continue reading
If you ever pick up the Wall Street Journal, you have probably seen a series of IBM Smarter Planet advertisements. These intrigued me and I clicked further. The innovators behind the Smarter Planet campaign want to improve highly complex global systems by connecting solutions. With the message that getting smarter is possible across all our systems, they are looking for more efficient systems for electricity grids, water and waste management, roadways, health care and many other operations that impact our quality of life. After being focused by weeks of heavy headlines on economic recovery, I found IBM’s message of being smarter energizing.
With nearly all net job growth in our country coming from companies less than five years old, Congress has debated this year what the role of government should be in developing programs and interventions that support entrepreneurship. While the World Bank’s Doing Business project reported a record number of new pro-entrepreneurship legal and regulatory reforms around the world in 2009, governments and multi-national institutions continue to be tempted to develop entrepreneurship development programs. Continue reading
Access to funding is often mentioned in meetings about how to enable high impact entrepreneurship. We are always reminded that bank lending to small businesses remains tight. Even loans subsidized by the Small Business Administration have dropped off in recent months. Venture capital was prominent historically for its role in financially catalyzing high-growth companies, but has over the years become less significant in spurring entrepreneurship. In recent years (1997-2007) even among those that made it to the Inc. 500 list of the fastest-growing private companies, less than one-in-five companies had venture investors. So what are angel investors up to this summer? Continue reading