The Emerging Era of Global Entrepreneurship

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The Emerging Era of Global Entrepreneurship

There's an old saying that when the going gets tough, the tough get going.  This aphorism can be seen at work in the global response to the current economic crisis.  Entrepreneurs are coming out of the woodwork, initiating gales of creative destruction that will be felt for years — if not decades — to come.  For example, The Wall Street Journal1 recently reported that microlenders in the developing world did more business in 2008 than in the last 15 years combined, providing seed money for all sorts of small businesses.

The Economist2 recently published a special series on entrepreneurship that highlighted the rise of entrepreneurship almost everywhere.  The report shows how entrepreneurship has gone mainstream, supported by governments of every kind, by political leaders from right and left.  Entrepreneurs are being encouraged by a burgeoning complex of venture capitalists, universities, and advocacy groups. 

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A key development has been the emergence of the entrepreneur as a new kind of "social hero."  People like Oprah Winfrey and Richard Branson have become the "poster children" for the cause.  The European Union, the United Nations, The World Bank, and other institutions have taken up the banner of entrepreneurship as a way to invigorate economies that need help.

People from around the world, especially India, flock to America to work with Google, Microsoft, or other entrepreneurial companies.  Then, they return home to have their own go at success.  A group of Indians came to Silicon Valley in 1992 and founded an association called The Indus Entrepreneurs to promote entrepreneurship among ex-patriot Indians through education, mentoring, and networking.3  The group now has 12,000 members in 53 cities spread across a dozen nations.  Their conferences are routinely oversubscribed. 

Enabled by modern technologies and time-tested principles, these and tens of millions of other current and future entrepreneurs are revolutionizing the global economy.  Ultimately, they'll provide the economic catalyst for a dramatic rise in the worldwide standard of living. 

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Why are entrepreneurs so vital to 21st century economies?  They innovate...

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