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In my final post of 2013, I summarize my top of mind developments in the world’s entrepreneurship data chest. Next year will herald a new era in evidence-based programming and policymaking as practitioners and policymakers alike—now committed to new firm formation—demand better data and analysis around what entrepreneurship promotion efforts are working and what is hype.
I know few of you plan to comb through entrepreneurship data and analysis over the holidays but the following summary might be helpful to all of us as we embark upon a renewed effort in 2014 to fill the gaps in what we can tell those who are eager to help founders start and scale new firms. This list is by no means comprehensive but rather what was most visible to me as a global observer and commentator. Please let me know what I missed.
Members of the House get a jump on the holiday season and will be in recess this week. Meanwhile, their Senate counterparts have a few hearings scheduled. A hearing on the data broker industry follows a yearlong Commerce Committee examination of how data brokers collect, compile, and sell consumer information for marketing purposes. Also, patent trolls get another look this week, courtesy of the Judiciary Committee, which is also exploring the impact on small businesses from a recent decision by the 5th U.S. Court of Appeals to allow companies to require employees to sign contracts forbidding them from initiating class arbitration against the company.
A lot has happened over the last twelve months in terms of the entrepreneurial economy. Twitter went public with the most-talked about IPO of 2013. Moving the other direction, Dell went private as Michael Dell emerged victorious in a very public and contentious battle with activist investor Carl Icahn--and then claimed Dell as "the world's largest startup." There were also major entrepreneurship gatherings in Brazil (Global Entrepreneurship Congress) and in a number of other countries -- like Malaysia, Libya and Kenya -- that don't immediately come to mind when one thinks "startup hotbed."
Now that 2013 is largely behind us, we take a look at the 10 most popular PDE posts from the last year at entrepreneurship.org. In fact, it's a post on one of those emerging hotspots that tops the list.
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.
Early in his Administration, President Enrique Peña Nieto embarked on a serious mission to fuel entrepreneurial growth by challenging Mexico to better tap into its people’s creativity and boost productivity. On January 11, 2013—less than two months after he took office—he signed a decree that created the National Institute for Entrepreneurs (INADEM). Few governments have institutionalized their commitment to building an entrepreneurship ecosystem as highly as Mexico, which now has a decentralized administrative office of the Secretariat of Economy dedicated to entrepreneurs.
In last week’s This Week in Entrepreneurship Policy post, we talked about a couple pieces of legislation to make it easier to start and scale new firms that were getting a close up look and vote from the House Rules Committee. Both of them—the Innovation Act (H.R. 3309) and the Small Business Capital Access and Job Preservation Act (H.R. 1105)—passed the House last week and are now on their way to the Senate.
Despite an abundance of world class research institutions like MIT and Stanford, the United States lags far behind many other nations in terms of funding university research. In a recent study by the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, the U.S. finished 24th out of 39 countries in government funding and 27th in terms of business funding.
I ended Global Entrepreneurship Week 2013 last week in Moscow just in time to see a GEW-themed bus driving around different universities, schools and gatherings while testing young peoples’ entrepreneurial skills and engaging them in the world of founding businesses. Skeptics in the international community might want to take a closer look at what cities can do – even in environments where there are persistent national barriers to new firm formation.
Still perceived by many to be the choice of currency for shady black market dealings, Bitcoin is starting to gain legitimacy as a valid form of digital currency. A disruptive innovation that has led to a number of startups and even its own Silicon Valley accelerator, Bitcoin has already succeeded in challenging the long-held notion that governments control the supply of money. And now it has a Foundation making the rounds on Capitol Hill.
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