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Mayors Focusing on Entrepreneurial Growth in their Cities

Todd Crosland US EntreprenerushipWhat are the public policies needed for a city to increase their entrepreneurship growth? In a recent article done by Entrepreneruship.com, they discuss actions taken by different mayors from their respective cities, and the policies and actions that they are taken to improve local economic growth.

In Raleigh, North Carolina, Mayor Nancy McFarlane has started an initiative to increase the city’s public partnerships with local entrepreneurs. She recently hired an Entrepreneurship Manager to follow up with local businesses and business owners. The Mayor also injected $100,000 into Citrix’ new accelerator program to aid local businesses with capital connections and local resources.

In Cincinnati, Ohio, Mayor John Cranley is funding a 30,000 square foot building that will house a large percentage of the city’s startup ecosystem. Cincinnati’s startup ecosystem includes Cintrifuse, a mentoring organization, Brandery, a startup accelerator, and CincyTech, a seed stage venture capital firm.

Mayor Andy Berke from Chattanooga, Tennessee is taking the route of offering direct incentives to startup companies. The incentives for these small businesses come as a $500 credit for each employee that they hire. Mayor Berke is also pushing an Open Data Policy, which will create a more transparent startup community in the hopes of more innovation based on statistics and big data. The city is also in the early development stages of building an Innovation District.

Next we have Mayor Mike Duggan from Detroit, Michigan. Detroit’s startup environment is on the rise as Microsoft Ventures recently announced their plans to build an office in downtown Detroit to perpetuate their increasing startup interests. Mayor Duggan also hired an entrepreneurship manager for the city as well as injecting $3 million into an accelerator program for entrepreneurs.

The Rise of Entrepreneurship in the United Kingdom

Todd Crosland Entrepreneurship in the United KingdomAccording to Lord Young, the UK’s enterprise advisor to the Prime Minister, the British invented Entrepreneurship. This comical and historical anecdote is in response to the UK’s booming entrepreneurship market. Lord Young says that the United Kingdom has entered the “golden age of entrepreneurship,” in succession with recent numbers attributing to entrepreneurial success in the UK.

Last year, a record-breaking 500,000 startups were registered in the United Kingdom as more and more young entrepreneurs are starting their own businesses. Since 2006, the number of people starting companies under the age of 35 has risen more than 70%. Young attributes this to the rise of the Internet. Millennials these days are used to the social dynamic bought by computers. They are able to stay better connected at a faster pace than the older generation because they grew up with the technology. What was never anticipated was how easy it is to start businesses with the technological skillset developed by young entrepreneurs.

The cost of starting a company is also at an all time low. The average cost of starting a business comes at 0.3% of gross national income whereas the average is 20% for the rest of the world. This also brings about more failed businesses than normal, as one in every three businesses are failing in the UK.

Young goes back to his anecdote mentioning that the industrial revolution began in England during the 1760s. This marked a period where people were moving from handcrafted materials to machine manufactured methods. This allowed for the development of small businesses which later spread to the United States and Western Europe. Young proclaims that the UK has come back to its roots.

Lord Young has been instrumental in the UK’s entrepreneurial rise as he spearheaded a government program that distributed £100 million to entrepreneurs in the UK. He is also in the middle of initiating government sponsored entrepreneurship education programs across the United Kingdom.

Startup Environment in Southeast Asia

Todd Crosland Asian EntrepreneurshipAccording to The Establishment Post, South East Asia is being called the next Silicon Valley with its innovative and unique features that differentiate it from the startup industry in the United States. GGV, or Golden Gates Ventures, is one of the six venture capital companies that have been entrusted by the Singaporean government and private sector to aid in the development of their emerging startup industry.

Vinnie Lauria, founder of GGV, claims that the entrepreneurial startup scene in Southeast Asia differs from the US startup scenes in that it is comprised of locals creating products for locals.

Lauria gives us an example of the commuting service startup, GO-Jek, as a company that is innovating for the local people. 90% of Indonesians do not use credit cards, so Go-Jek offers an immediate currier service for locals who opt for their cash-on-delivery service to obtain materials purchased online. The company is meeting the demand for a delivery middleman, creating a more convenient e-commerce environment for the people of Indonesia.

This intrinsic Asian entrepreneurial way of thinking has opened up a more Asia-focused startup industry that sets the startup scene in Asia apart from Silicon Valley. The government is a bit of a roadblock for many Asian countries, but the Singaporean government has allowed for $100 million of investment in the form of six venture capital firms. This will allow for more startups to come out of the woodwork, considering the difficulties of obtaining series A investments.

Lauria points out that along with government involvement, more awareness needs to develop to bluster the Asian startup scene. Lawyers and business developers are needed in Asia who can truly complete these companies and make them attractive for global investors in the long run. The Asian startup scene certainly does not have the extensive entrepreneurial experience as in the United States; however, the starting blocks are coming to fruition. Once the entrepreneurs are able to create a startup environment for their own people, they will be able to look at their companies from a more global perspective.