Colombia may be associated with violence and drugs in popular culture, but it has recently been strengthening its entrepreneurial base, says the Kauffman Foundation’s Policy Forum Blog. The Colombian government has been removing barriers to starting businesses, educational institutions have been adding more entrepreneurship courses and programs, more business incubators are cropping up, and there is an increased focus on entrepreneurship in the media. Certainly there are still problems with drugs and violence, creating a chaotic environment that discourages many potential entrepreneurs. Nonetheless, some entrepreneurs have found creative ways to respond, such as a company that produces bullet-proof underwear.
Archive for January, 2011
Norm Augustine believes that America is falling behind other countries like China and India in technological innovation. This is because our culture portrays engineers and scientists as nerds rather than venerating them, because our educational system deemphasizes science and math, and because we don’t invest enough in long-term basic research. “Despite what many Americans believe,” he writes, “our nation does not possess an innate knack for greatness. Greatness must be worked for and won by each new generation.”
Professors Matt Flamm and Shawn Klein are heading this Spring’s Reading Group, which starts this Friday, January 28:
In The Birth of Tragedy (1872), Nietzsche analyzes artistic expression, focusing on Greek tragedy. In On the Genealogy of Morals (1887) Nietzsche traces out the “origin of our moral prejudices,” identifying “slave morality” (exemplified by Christian values) and its opposite, “master morality” (exemplified by Ancient Greek and Roman values).
Each meeting will take place at the Center for Ethics and Entrepreneurship office on the second floor of Burpee, from 3-4 pm. There will be light refreshments. A free copy of the book will be provided to participants. This group is open to all members of the college community.
Jan 28: Introduction
Feb 11: Birth of Tragedy 1
Feb 25 Birth of Tragedy 2
Mar 18: Genealogy 1
Apr 8: Genealogy 2
In our latest issue of Kaizen we feature an interview with Eduardo Marty, Founder of Junior Achievement Argentina and former host of Buenos Aires’s major television talk show Boom—Politics and Economics.
Also featured in Kaizen are student essay contest winners Kathleen Simmert, Nathaniel Branch, and Amelia Franceso, and guest speaker Nimish Adhia.
A PDF version of Kaizen is available here. We will soon post separately the full interview with Mr. Marty.
If you would like to receive a complimentary issue of the print version of Kaizen, please email your name and postal address to CEE [at] Rockford.edu.
Ken Phillips, in an article for Independent Contractors Australia, analyzes the failure of Australian government programs to nurture more entrepreneurship and innovation. The problem, he says, is that society is structured in a way that discourages self-employment. This decreases the amount of innovation in society because the experience of self-employment engenders a psychology of innovation. The self-employed person must constantly come up with new, creative ways to please clients. Phillips contrast self-employment to standard employment, which fosters a psychology of obedience to superiors and thus a lack of creative thinking.
It’s easy to understand the importance of innovators and entrepreneurs to the economy, but it’s much harder to figure out the best ways to encourage more entrepreneurship. In an article for TechCrunch, Vivek Wadhwa explores Start-Up Chile, a program that he calls “Chile’s Grand Innovation Experiment.” Most initiatives to create the next Silicon Valley have failed, Wadhwa argues, because they use a top-down approach that fatally leaves out the most important ingredient — the entrepreneurs themselves. Start-up Chile is therefore unique because, rather than building office parks and partnering with VC’s and universities, it focuses on attracting innovators and entrepreneurs from all over the world to Chile, where they will start their own businesses.