Sunday, October 7, 2012

Branson, redefining capitalism

"Have fun, do good and the money will follow," is Sir Richard Branson's new equity. The Economist's Schumpeter discusses Sir Richard's various activities which it considers to be perhaps redefining captialism. Some of his significant efforts include the Carbon War Room here and The Elders here.

Sir Richard's most recent effort, the B Team, "The idea is to form a small group of business leaders who will campaign for reforms to make capitalism more oriented to the long term and socially more responsible."

Who qualifies for such a rehaul of capitalism?

"There were too few candidates from the business world of sufficiently unimpeachable character, it seems, and, more positively, some members of the B Team are likely to be relatively young. Instead, the plan is for the B Team to consist of people who have done business in a way that fits the guiding principles, such as Mr Zeitz, perhaps Ben Cohen (of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream) or Paul Polman, who is trying to double Unilever’s revenues while halving its environmental footprint."

This effort will be worth keeping a close eye on. I believe it may just be the right time for the vision of the B Team. And a successful entrepreneur is one who times it right. Sir Richard is one who understands "timing" of opportunity well.

Read the complete article "Call in the B Team" here.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Entrepreneurial high-tech industry growth declines in the US

My last blog was about the value of skilled immigrant's driven knowledge creation and its impact on economic growth in the US, see here.

This progress has had a decline per a recent report.  From "Why Immigrant Entrepreneurship Is Stalling" in Bloomberg Business Week here:

"In Silicon Valley, it declined from 52.4 percent to 43.9 percent during the same period. Kauffman extrapolates that tech firms with immigrant founders employed about 560,000 workers and generated an estimated $63 billion in sales from 2006 to 2012. Native-born entrepreneurs aren't making up the difference. Their startup rate has remained relatively flat over the last 16 years, and declined in 2011, according to Kauffman's most recent index that tracked new business creation from 1996 to 2011."

See further coverage in media in the following: Washington Post here, and Forbes here.

Entrepreneurs; an essential ingredient to economic growth

"America also used to have one of the most business-friendly immigration policies. Fully 18% of the Fortune 500 list as of 2010 were founded by immigrants (among them AT&T, DuPont, eBay, Google, Kraft, Heinz and Procter & Gamble). Include the children of immigrants and the figure is 40%. Immigrants founded a quarter of successful high-tech and engineering companies between 1995 and 2005. They obtain patents at twice the rate of American-born people with the same educational credentials. But America’s immigration policies have tightened dramatically over the past decade, a period in which some other rich countries, such as Canada, have continued to woo skilled immigrants, while fabulous new opportunities have opened up in emerging markets like China and India. Why endure America’s visa obstacle course when other countries are laying out the red carpet?"

Entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial innovations have remained the key ingredient in United States economic strength.  US stands alone in this race as no other nation even comes close to what has been accomplished here.  The Economist article "Fixing the capitalist machine" here, further highlights the impact of immigrants on the US knowledge economy.

Will this fertile land of knowledge and innovation sustain or has it seen its best days?