Weekly Roundup: Global Entrepreneurship Week, Mobile Banking and OWS
Global Entrepreneurship Week Invokes the Startup Spirit
“New firms are indeed the greatest source of new wealth for struggling economies and a powerful weapon against poverty.” – Jonathan Ortmans, president of Global Entrepreneurship Week
With events in the UK, US, Chile, India, Pakistan, Rwanda, and many other countries, Global Entrepreneurship Week, initiated by the Kauffman Foundation and the UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown in 2008, aspired to help the dwindling economy with the start-up spirit this week. From showcasing social enterprises in India to developing an entrepreneurial hub in Chile for South America, there were over 30,000 events around the world in more than 100 countries.
Coinciding with GEW, the Kauffman Foundation released a report, stating that the millennial generation is eager to start a business but has been discouraged by the economic downturn. In addition, Inc. reported that more people are starting a business out of need, not out of opportunity in America. Eric Markowitz of Inc. writes that to spur innovation and enterprise further in America, resources need to be dispersed throughout the country, not concentrated in the Bay Area, which has been the main hub for startups. That means Startup America, which launched in January 2011, has to start looking beyond Silicon Valley to create an entrepreneurial movement across the nation.
Occupy Wall Street Pushes for Action
“The erstwhile occupiers of Zuccotti Park swear that they aren’t going anywhere — that they’ll get back into the park one way or another. But they’ve done something more important: They’ve gotten into people’s heads.” – Eugene Robinson
Occupying subways and even the Brooklyn Bridge, protesters challenged authority and pressed ahead as the protests hit the two-month mark. While many were peaceful, clashes did occur with the police, causing 250 individuals to be arrested. Though they’ve been asked to leave from Zuccotti Park by Mayor Bloomberg, Eugene Robinson of the Washington Post, argues that they’ve done something more import by starting a conversation on inequality in America: “they’ve gotten into people’s heads.”
Following incidents of violence and serious clashes with authority, Occupy Oakland didn’t participate in the “Day of Action.” However, Southern Californians saw Los Angeles residents take to the street (and get arrested) as they protested near the Bank of America tower.
Though images of protesters across the country are flooding the web, polls indicate that support for the movement has fallen, according to the Economist and Slate. In fact, Weigel of Slate reports that there’s greater support for the Tea Party than OCW. “Bad enough for liberals, worse is an overall rise in enthusiasm for conservative projects,” he writes, indicating that the Tea Party has a 7% edge over OWS.
And lastly, the Occupy movement hit UCBerkeley as thousands of college students camped out, demonstrating their frustration and discontent with the increasing budget cuts for California universities. On Thursday, the remaining protesters were asked to vacate (or rather, forced to vacate) the site as well.
Interesting thoughts from this week:
- McKinsey releases a new What Matters report, highlighting Social Innovation. Denielle Saches of McKinsey provides a short summary of the report on HuffPost
- Guardian encourages business to be careful with employee engagement programs that are aimed at “doing good” and offer tips to businesses who want to do so.
- Sean Parker, founder of Napster, talks with Inc., arguing that start-ups these days are getting funding from overzealous early-stage investors who have crowded the markets.
- Visa taps into the emerging markets that have already mastered the art of mobile banking, reports NYTimes’ Bits Blog.
- Mercy Corps chats with Forbes: mobile and social innovation paves the way for the non-profit.