Schumpeter’s Century: Cornwall and The State Dept View of Entrepreneurship

Brian, over at Schumpeter’s Century, points out a great post by Jeff Cornwall. Cornwall describes some of the efforts the State Department is making on the entrepreneurship policy front.

Jeff paints a vivid picture of the ‘choose your own entrepreneurship policy quiz’ that is hustling. Full of questions on incubators, clean tech, and elephant chasing by offering job based incentives. Really kind of amazing.

Jeff asks us to choose ‘non of the above’ and sum’s it all up nicely with a Hayek quote.


Obama Engages Muslim World With Entrepreneurship – Entrepreneurship and Development

President Obama is currently hosting a two day Presidential Summit with more than 250 business and social leaders from 50 countries, most with large or majority Muslim populations.

The summit is the follow up to Obama’s Cairo speech last summer and looks to use entrepreneurship, and social entrepreneurship, as major tools in increasing development throughout the Muslim world.

Many in the article claim that this is a nice thought, but that other issues – Iran nuclear policy, Iraq and Afghanistan, and Israel – matter far more.

From the piece;

Commerce Secretary Gary Locke opened the gathering by challenging the entrepreneurs to take “the tremendous success that all of you have had individually and expand it throughout the Islamic world.”

“There are over a billion people living in Muslim-majority countries today, and they represent a vast reserve of underutilized potential in the global economy, both in terms of their demands for goods and services as well as their ability to create technological and social innovations that will drive economic growth and social development,” Locke said.

Here is the official summit page and here is the official White House Press Briefing. BTW, it appears you can stream it live as well.

Obama Hosts Global Summit on Entrepreneurship –

Great Video Discussion on Educating Entrepreneurs

Really good video where entrepreneurs discuss how we can develop the next generation of entrepreneurs. Really nice to hear the thoughts of Leonard Brody, Mark Ecko, Don Moody, and John Petry— each succesful in the new venture space and each has been active in education reform in the U.S. (click image to view panel discussion)

The panel is moderated by Ira Sokowitz and was part of last year’s Global  Entrepreneurship Week. All were great and I especially liked Ecko’s discussion of finding and creating a narrative. In our class, New Venture Creation, we often discuss the the need for entrepreneurs, in writing a plan and pitching, to paint a picture of the future and engage the audience while doing it. The future must be compelling to both the entrepreneur, their market, and their potential financiers.

Hope you enjoy. Please feel free to share your thoughts. And let me know how you think education as to change to prepare potential entrepreneurs.

“Fear the Boom and Bust” | Hayek vs. Keynes Rap | Entrepreneurship Policy

While I am not an economist, as someone who studies entrepreneurs, I am partial to Austrian thinkers such as Schumpeter and Hayek. Here is a great video with FA Hayek and Lord Keynes rapping about their views on the economy. (h/t Bloomberg)

YouTube – “Fear the Boom and Bust” a Hayek vs. Keynes Rap Anthem.

The Call to Get More out of Campus Research

Last week officials from the Obama Administration Commerce Department met with U.S. Research University officials in order to figure out how to do even more with research that is generated — often with federal funding.

Doug Lederman at Inside Higher Education has a solid piece on the meeting, which was closed to reporters. Much was made of the ‘new’ Kauffman ideas on technology transfer of federally funded research from major Universities.

While TTOs (technology transfer offices) have never much sense to me in today’s marketplace, it is where the debate has been centered for decades so I am not surprised that this is where the debate is today. It has become clear that the Kauffman ideas around technology licensing of federally funded research (which Harvard named a top 10  breakthrough idea) will be a driver surrounding some new legislation and possibly/probably funding for some elite research universities.

In my mind, the reality is that a culture of entrepreneurship needs to be instilled in the researchers. Some will take to it and others will not, but schools must begin to engage researchers. Explain to them that entrepreneurship is the tool to that they can use to make an impact with there research.

That being said, many of the greatest student entrepreneurs and others who come off the campus have nothing to do with technology transfer. That is not to say that they do not make use of campus infrastructure and assets, its just that the technology transfer office is not a factor in their creation of high impact firms.

While I understand that this is about increasing return on federal funding of R&D, this policy discussion and hoopla around technology transfer will crowd out the attention of University leaders and administrators as they try to get into this game.

Maybe they should create a business plan competition that guarantees the winners get funding for another grant cycle as I think that is where much of their non-research time goes — securing funding.. This might free them up to think about commercializing their ideas and findings rather than going after the next grant. Any thoughts?

News: The Need to ‘Do Even More’ – Inside Higher Ed.

Great List of Entrepreneurship Policy Research from Réseau Innovation Network

Got this exciting Google Alert on entrepreneurship policy that highlights and lists papers on entrepreneurship and innovation policies of all sorts.

I just downloaded a paper comparing entrepreneurship education at the state level across 18 states. It doesn’t go into too much detail, but for those interested in legislation related to entrepreneurship, this is a good basic starting point.

There are countless other papers at the link below covering everything from the role of entrepreneurship in economic development to a digest of various entrepreneurship indicators that are available to academics and policy makers.

Check out the Reseau Innovation Network, based in Quebec. I am definitely gonna join their mailing list as they seem to aggregate some solid information.

Original List of Papers on Entrepreneurship and Innovation Policy from the Réseau Innovation Network.

Ortmans: The Untapped Potential of Research Universities

Jonathan Ortmans at the Policy Dialogue for Entrepreneurship has an interesting post on the incredible economic assets that make up part of the entrepreneurial ecosystem of the American Research University.

Ortmans does a great job of highlighting some of the issues at hand and also the growing concern over Technology Transfer Offices that were created by the Bayh-Dole Act of 1980. He also points to the work of Robert Litan and Lesa Mitchell at Kauffman and their ideas on opening up the university intellectual property process to market forces.

The blog post mentions a February 24th meeting of University leaders and key stakeholders that will be hosted by the Department of Commerce’s new Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

Ortmans’ Post: Policy Dialogue on Entrepreneurship | The Untapped Potential of Research Universities.

World Economic History w/just a Dash of Entrepreneurhip

Paul Kedrosky offers a nice wordle image (below) that highlights the top 150 words used in the papers presented at the World Economic History Conference. Entrepreneurship seems to be barely present? Can you find it? They must have really made some nice insights at that conference. Ha!

Can you find entrepreneurship. (just thank your lucky starrs its a long word)
Can you find entrepreneurship? Just thank your lucky stars its a long word.

Policy Makers Plan to Abuse Entrepreneurs on Healthcare

In a move that highlights the politics of stupidity, leaders of the house announced a health care plan that will force the smallest employers to provide health care or pay a tax. According to an article in the WSJ, “Under the House measure, employers with payrolls exceeding $400,000 a year would have to provide health insurance or pay the 8% penalty. Employers with payrolls between $250,000 and $400,000 a year would pay a smaller penalty, and those less than $250,000 would be exempt. Certain small firms would get tax credits to help buy coverage.”

Read the article by Janet Adamy and Laura Meckler (reg required). BTW, the WSJ just ran an article on the  rising costs of health care and how it is already causing major problems for small business and entrepreneurs. In that piece from a July 13th special report, Simona Covel writes

At some businesses, in fact, health care is the highest expense after salaries—with devastating consequences. Owners must skimp on vital investments like marketing and research. Some can’t hire the people they want because top candidates demand premium coverage. Or they end up understaffed because of the high cost of insurance—and lose potential clients as a result.

At the same time, to keep costs in check, countless companies are slashing coverage or dropping it entirely. Some are turning to freelancers or offshore workers instead of hiring full-timers and locals. And some would-be entrepreneurs find insurance so onerous that they’re not even starting a business in the first place.

What’s more, it isn’t just individual companies at risk. It’s the entire economy. Historically, small businesses have boosted recoveries significantly. Since they can’t simply make mass layoffs and hunker down, as so many big companies do, they must take risks to survive—like investing in innovative ideas and hiring more workers to implement them. But stratospheric health-care costs threaten to damp that enthusiasm and choke off investment. Continue reading “Policy Makers Plan to Abuse Entrepreneurs on Healthcare”

Politicians Continue to Pressure Job Creators

Last week my friends at SchumpetersCentury emailed me an post by Jonathan Ortmans — a Kauffman Fellow — arguing that Obama gets entrepreneurship. Then my father sent me an editorial from the Investor’s Business Daily exposing how our policy makers are destroying America’s job creation engine — entrepreneurs. I know which is closer to the truth.

Even more sick is that today’s WSJ highlights Biden’s saying that the administration ‘misread how bad the economy was’ — what this really means is that their policies are not working and they want another stimulus plan. Don’t let it happen. From the must read IBD Op-Ed – Stop the Madness That’s Killing Jobs:

But 18 months into this downturn, we’re still losing jobs — with 2.7 million gone in the private sector just since January, when the Democrats took full control of the government.

Shrinking GDP has crushed investment. First quarter gross private domestic investment — a proxy for business investment — plunged 20%, or nearly $450 billion, annually. The outlook is grim.

Worse, the June jobs data mark a milestone of sorts: Our unemployment rate equals that of the no-growth Eurozone nations.

Why is this job decline happening? The private sector — the real engine of economic and job growth — won’t hire because it’s scared of what it sees coming out of Washington.

On the horizon, as far as the eye can see, are higher taxes, uncontrolled spending and layers upon layers of new regulations.

Who would hire new workers faced with that?

Also, the federal government is meddling in the private sector as never before — in essence, nationalizing two of the three major carmakers with $200 billion in subsidies and capital infusions, turning our banking system into a fourth branch of government through the $700 billion TARP program, spending $200 billion to take over Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and put them back in the business of lending to people who can’t pay their loans — which is how we got into trouble in the first place.

And that’s only what’s been done in the last half year or so. What really scares private businesses is what’s in the pipeline.

Please, read the whole editorial and then call your elected reps: tell them to stop the madness!