Sunday, August 03, 2008

Cultivating Entrepreneurship

I came across two links on initiatives trying to develop and keep entrepreneurs - one abroad and one in the US. It would seem as if they're trying to build incubators for entrepreneurs without the physical structure that generally entails and instead, with the support and management advice - advice that can be highly valuable or worse than worthless.

The Economist highlights an attempt at building an entrepreneurial network assigning successful business mentors with carefully chosen entrepreneurs in developing countries. I take exception to this comment however:

Much of the difference between countries such as America, where entrepreneurship thrives, and those where it does not is cultural rather than regulatory, she believes. In many emerging economies, business tends to be dominated by a closed elite hostile to new entrepreneurs—and failure is stigmatised, rather than being a badge of honour, as it is in Silicon Valley.
It's a tired and frustratingly silly argument that gets made by detractors of free markets that autocracies (governments run by the elite making laws in favor of said elite) are a consistent and natural outcome of capitalism. This is particularly true of countries like Mexico where regulation favors established and larger enterprises - it's not the lack of an entrepreneurial culture. I believe the US succeeds because the financial incentives exceedingly overwhelm the risks of failure and this begins with a receptive government.

Back in the US, Yale, as described in a blog post from the WSJ, pairs student entrepreneurs with local business people in an attempt at discouraging them from quitting and taking both their ideas and ventures out to California.

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