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Today I am headed to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, for a government-convened gathering of entrepreneurs and their supporters focused on advancing entrepreneurship in Muslim-majority countries. Although U.S. President Barack Obama had to cancel at the last minute due to the federal government shutdown, Secretary of State John Kerry is representing the U.S. Government and it promises to be no less of an important week for policy wonks, entrepreneurs and program leads keen on knowledge creation.
Who's Starting Up While the Government Shuts Down?
Look around and you will find a number of articles on the effects of the political stalemate / government shutdown on entrepreneurs. For small businesses the effects are quite clear, mostly relating to government contracts (more than half the federal spending would go through federal contracts before the shutdown) and Small Business Administration (SBA) loans. In addition, with 62% of the SBA’s staff furloughed, all counseling is on hold until the government is back up and running. The suspension of these contracts, loans and services represents an immediate “brake” on the economy. In terms of young, growing companies, the effects are less obvious but probably even costlier in the long run.
Kauffman Foundation Launches 'Founders School'
Startups and entrepreneurs at every stage have a new resource to help them launch and grow. The new Kauffman Founders School—curated from years of the Kauffman Foundation's experience in developing and supporting entrepreneurship programs—is an online education portal that provides on-demand content that enables entrepreneurs to learn anywhere at anytime.
From the Arab Spring & Brazilian Protests to Your Startup Community—The Role of Word-of-Mouth in Building Social Movements
The Arab Spring and the recent Brazilian Protests were massive social movements that mobilized huge numbers of people. They had dispersed leadership, caused huge changes, and were grassroots movements that started from the bottom, rather than being imposed from the top. I think that startup communities, largely “messy, sloppy and organic,” as described by Brad Feld, are a lot like these social movements, and can potentially learn from them.
Forget About Babson, Go to Northwestern
Last week, we talked about Babson College's 17 year string of domination over the U.S. News & World Report's rankings for entrepreneurship education in U.S. colleges and universities. Not so fast, says Howard Marks, the founder of a Los Angeles based startup accelerator (StartEngine) who first made a name for himself as the founder of Activision—the world's first independent video game publisher (remember Chopper Command and Pitfall from the early '80s?).
This Week in Entrepreneurship Policy
One week after the government shutdown began, the finger-pointing continues while a new deadline looms even larger—10 more days until a potential U.S. government default. While many are still calling it "extremely unlikely" there seems to be consensus in that it would be "a catastrophe." Meanwhile, many of the Congressional hearings were cancelled or postponed last week and the handful scheduled for this week look to be more focused on the blame game than anything else. Like last week, the following hearings may be postponed—so be sure to check the committee websites for last-minute updates.
A Look Back at Innovation Daily
Each day, Innovation Daily checks the pulse of global innovation--courtesy of Innovation America. Here, we take a look at a handful of relevant stories it compiled last week.