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Jonathan Ortmans

It’s Time for Startup Africa

Chatter about the promise of Africa is not new. Outside economists have been reminding us about relatively high GDP growth rates; China conspiracy theorists keep us informed about who is buying up the continent’s natural resources; and global aid agencies are constantly rewriting their strategies. What is new is the rise of a new generation of Africans that is actually making things happen.

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Posted by: Jonathan Ortmans
on April 08, 2013
Category:  Global 
At Last, a Global Platform for Startups

The nurturing of new and young firms has so far not been given much attention in prominent global gatherings. International government meetings have mostly concentrated on passive SME policy and others like the World Economic Forum have treated entrepreneurs as a side ring at the circus. The maturing of the Global Entrepreneurship Congress (GEC) to fill this gap is thus a welcome development.

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Posted by: Jonathan Ortmans
on April 01, 2013
Category:  Global 
GEC Commits to Startup Policy Platform

Last Friday, the Global Entrepreneurship Congress adjourned in Rio de Janeiro, ending a week of intense sessions that engaged over two thousand people from 130 countries in discussions around building stronger entrepreneurship ecosystems back home. While the Congress included Global Entrepreneurship Week host country delegations, investors and entrepreneurs, it opened last Monday with a new session for policymakers and researchers. The experiment was a success and ended with a commitment by organizers to make government policy a mainstay of the annual Congress in the future.

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Posted by: Jonathan Ortmans
on March 25, 2013
Category:  General  Global 
A Growing Entrepreneurship Data Chest

The greater availability of data on entrepreneurship is one of the main drivers behind the rush to build better startup ecosystems around the world. By revealing weak areas in a country’s entrepreneurship ecosystem and enabling cross-country benchmarking, more data is yielding important insights for better economic and regulatory policymaking.

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Posted by: Jonathan Ortmans
on March 11, 2013
Category:  Global 
Measuring the Impact of a Startup Visa

This week, President Obama will turn his focus from budget sequestration to immigration. A new Kauffman Foundation report released last week argues that making 75,000 Startup Visas available for current holders of H-1B and F-1 visas who start companies could create as much as 1.6 million U.S. jobs in the next 10 years. Will Washington act or, if they cannot agree, throw the baby out with the bath water?

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Posted by: Jonathan Ortmans
on March 04, 2013
Category:  Immigration 
Startup Global

Thousands of people from 135 countries have already confirmed their participation for next month’s week-long Global Entrepreneurship Congress (GEC) and festival in Rio de Janeiro. As chair of the GEC for the past few years, I have witnessed the emergence of this global platform for collaboration among entrepreneurs, their investors and national leaders held outside the United States. So what happens at the GEC?

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Posted by: Jonathan Ortmans
on February 25, 2013
Category:  General 
Financing Growth: Helping More Americans Help Entrepreneurs

In his State of the Union Address next week, President Obama will shift gears back to job creation after his inauguration speech focused on wider themes. As the debate about how the government can help the economy regain its pre-recession strength enters a new phase, the Kauffman Foundation’s annual “State of Entrepreneurship Address” last week in Washington, DC, focused on how financial constraints have been blocking the success of new and young firms that create most of the net new jobs.

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Posted by: Jonathan Ortmans
on February 11, 2013
Category:  Capitol Hill 
Shaking the “Rotten Apple” Image in Ukraine

Since 2005, the Eastern Europe and Central Asia region leads the world in enhancing the business climate for local firms. The region overtook East Asia and the Pacific to become the second most business-friendly, after OECD high-income economies. However, one country, the Ukraine, has been described as the “rotten apple” in the region, comparing unfavorably to its neighboring countries. After meeting the “Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Ukraine to the United States,” I decided to take a closer look.

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Posted by: Jonathan Ortmans
on February 04, 2013
America's Loss is India's Gain

This week we can expect President Obama to speak to immigration reform and a new immigration proposal to be unveiled in the Senate. I have discussed in this blog the importance of creating a U.S. Startup Visa for high skilled immigrants—but only in the context of America’s loss. We take a look today on what America's loss in terms of brainpower and innovation skills means for one nation—India.

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Posted by: Jonathan Ortmans
on January 28, 2013
Category:  Global 
Global Prospects for Startup Legislation in 2013

Every year, reports from the World Bank, the OECD and numerous private sector researchers tell us that nations are improving their regulatory environment in terms of reducing the complexity and cost of regulatory processes for starting a business. However, comprehensive reforms to stimulate startup creation are still relatively hard to find. Will the ever-intensifying global race to build strong startup ecosystems from the bottom-up change this?

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Posted by: Jonathan Ortmans
on January 14, 2013
Category:  Global 

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