I was recently invited to give a talk for Knowledge Stream in Russia about entrepreneurship and cross-cultural issues. This is similar to a Ted Talk, but I spoke via videoconference from Cambridge to a live audience in Moscow. There is growing interest in entrepreneurship in Russia, especially among younger people, but it’s still a very new and emerging area. In fact, Russia is one of the countries with the lowest entrepreneurial intention rates. The request for a talk on this topic was encouraging.
I began my talk highlighting some of the trends worldwide in entrepreneurship. I analyzed many studies to identify these trends, but one of the most useful was conducted by the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor. According to GEM, we’ve seen a big increase in early-stage activity since 2011. In 16 developing economies, it has increased about 25%. Three developing countries in particular saw above average rates of growth in terms of new startups: Argentina, Chile and China.
Intent to start a business is highest in emerging economies. People in those areas are most likely to see opportunities and believe in their ability to start a business. They hold entrepreneurship in high regard. Expectations to start a business are also higher in certain developing economies like China, Chile and Brazil. Interestingly, those measures tend to fall as countries rise in economic development.
MIT Sloan Prof. Yasheng Huang compares China to India, and asks how China’s authoritarian rule contributed to its astonishing economic growth — leading to a big question: Is democracy actually holding India back? Huang’s answer may surprise you.
Yasheng Huang asks us to rethink our ideas about China and other large emerging economies. Lately he’s been asking, Does democracy hinder or promote economic growth? Full bio »
Jonathan Weisleder, MBA 11 and Alvaro Uribe Velez, former president of Colombia
A great way to measure the success of an event is the educational value of its content. Based on that, our recent MIT Latin American Conference was a huge success. Not only did our speakers openly discuss sensitive topics such as the need for democracy and security, but participants were amazed by how much they learned from — and were inspired by– the speakers.
With the theme, “From Potential to Reality,” we invited business and government leaders from throughout Latin America to discuss the opportunities and challenges for economic development in their countries. A repeating message throughout the event was that the opportunities in the region are immense and the key is execution.