All posts by Todd Crosland

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.

Latin America Seeing an Increased in Entrepreneurship

Todd Crosland Latin American EntrepreneurshipA recent Forbes article discussed the recent raise in entrepreneurship in Latin America. The article goes on to describe what exactly makes up an entrepreneurial society: a growth in the tech industry, centralized focus on entrepreneurs, and government subsidies on small business initiatives. In this day and age, many countries crave these qualities. In Latin America, the whole startup industry is quite new and the private entrepreneurial development company, Endeavor Global is trying to change that around.

Endeavor Global is a company that has gathered successful entrepreneurs from all over Latin America to act as a support network for emerging startups in the country. Latin America’s biggest concerns regarding entrepreneurship are a lack of leadership and financing. Endeavor Global has been able to address both issues with their professional network and venture capital firm, Kaszek, which sprung up from the Endeavor Global network.

This initiative has increased the number of successful businesses aiming towards lower levels of income, which is what Latin America needs. Online use in Latin America is expected in increase by 50% in the next five years. Many of these successful companies coming out of the woodwork are online service companies that are focusing on providing services to the hard working, middle class. Thus, companies in online retail are starting to emerge so services are more easily accessible. International credit cards are still not going to be accessible in Latin America for a while, so there are multiple companies focusing on different online payment methods for the country.

Overtime, as the entrepreneurial bubble grows, more and more mentors will be joining Latin America’s professional network to guide the future startup businesses. What Latin America is more concerned with is financing. There are plenty of crowd-funding services that provide initial seed investment, but venture capital is still the main area of focus when it comes to financing in Latin America.

You can read more about the rising entrepreneurship industry in Latin America in the Forbes article here.

Greek Entrepreneurship on the Rise After the Economic Crisis

Todd Crosland Greek EntrepreneurshipA recent article in Forbes discusses an increase in Greek entrepreneurship after a disastrous economic downfall. Throughout the Eurozone’s economic crisis, the Greek economy was doing the worst. Their corrupt public sector was running up massive debts while their private sector was mostly dependent on their government. This was a recipe for disaster.

Throughout this economic crisis in Greece, there was an increase in Greek entrepreneurs wanting to change the outcome of the Greek economy by focusing on tech-based startups. The article goes on to state that the Greeks were always strong in the entrepreneur market. However, many of these entrepreneurs were unproductive and did not focus on the right sectors of the economy for their sales. The article states that currently 90% of new ventures are continuing along the old, failed growth models while the other 10% are focusing on areas of growth.

Endeavor Greece is an example of one of these companies focusing on high-impact entrepreneur growth within the country. This will hopefully create more jobs and opportunities for other entrepreneurs wanting to enter high-impact industries in Greece. Endeavor is currently in 20 different countries. They support and identify high-impact entrepreneurs in a variety of sectors, and provide resources for these entrepreneurs to become successful in their sector. Although tech startups were more than 50% of total investment in 2013, Greece should also focus on industries where they have competitive advantage, for example, in sectors such as food processing, agriculture, and tourism.

The Tech ecosystem in Greece is in its developmental stages as there are about seven Greek venture capitalists managing about $100 million. This is better than before the crisis, but is it still getting off the ground. One area in where Greece could have an advantage is in their high number of engineers. Most of their engineers leave to the UK and the United States to peruse careers. Hopefully with the new tech environment, more of them will stay in Greece.

Many Greek entrepreneurs believe that international support is also necessary so that they can rebuild their economy. This involves a more stable tax framework that will attract foreign investment. The public sector has been investing more in their emerging business heavy industry as Greek tech-startups head the way for economic recovery. Fingers crossed.

This article is based on this article in Forbes.