Category Archives: Economy and Society


Entrepreneurs are critical to the economy’s long-term success.  Startups created roughly 2.6 million jobs, according to the Census Bureau’s Business Dynamics Statistics. By comparison, firms of all other ages lost a net 267,000 jobs.  The COVID-19 outbreak has introduced a host of economic challenges. But even before the pandemic took hold, entrepreneurial-driven job growth was in a steep decline. Approximately one-third fewer workers hold jobs at young firms today compared to in 2000—a trend accelerated by the Great Recession.  The economic lockdown imposed by COVID-19 presents severe challenges for all businesses, but young firms are especially vulnerable without some of the resources and capital established firms have. Due to the current crisis, our economy is at risk of losing an entire cohort of young firms—job creators that we cannot afford to lose. As we begin to reopen and rebuild, policymakers and economic developers must focus on creating environments that support and nurture entrepreneurs.  Cities across the country need an economic boost now more than ever as they face the challenges of COVID-19. Entrepreneurs and young firms could hold the power to help economies rebound from the crisis.  Read More >>


SARS is credited with being one of the accelerators for the adoption of e-commerce in China and the rise of Alibaba. We should not expect that the resolution of the Covid-19 epidemic will be a return to a 2019 reality.  Many organizations are understandably focused on reacting to and coping with the short term challenges presented by the unfolding epidemic.  A rebound of demand is inevitable, and using high-frequency data proxies for the movement of goods and people, production and confidence, we can see that it is already beginning to happen in China.  Our analysis shows that 14% of companies across all sectors actually grow top and bottom lines during recessions and downturns.  Those who flourish share the common traits of preparation, preemption, growth orientation and long term transformation. They take a long term view and place growth bets when competitors are retrenching.  In anticipating this new post-crisis world and seizing opportunity in adversity, we need to consider several shaping forces: new learning, new attitudes, new habits and new needs.  There is opportunity in adversity in every business. It may seem callous to stress opportunity in the midst of a humanitarian crisis, but leaders have an obligation to look ahead, to anticipate and meet new customer needs, to evolve their strategies and organizations, and in so doing sustain the prosperity of their enterprises.  Read More >>


Business leaders are struggling to keep their organizations afloat and employees safe while the novel coronavirus sweeps across the globe. At the same time, many are also searching for ways to help within their communities and beyond.  Of course, not every company has such a clear service to share. Still, there are likely creative ways that almost any company can be of use to those in need. There are three questions leaders can ask themselves to determine how they might use their resources and expertise to help their communities.  The first question is ‘What do we do?’ What is your core business and how can that be of use to the community? The second question is ‘What do we have?’ Business leaders think about what resources they have that could be of use elsewhere. Not every company has such a clear service to share. Still, there are likely creative ways that almost any company can be of use to those in need.  The third question is ‘What could you do?’ This might mean producing something that feels a bit adjacent to the core of the business but would aid others in your community.  Read More >>


78 percent of small businesses are reporting profits, with both confidence and happiness indices ranking among the highest in recent years.  The overall small business climate looks favorable for an enterprising entrepreneur. However, one fundamental factor that can change business climate is geography. Depending on the state and city where you want to start a business, these overall conducive conditions can change dramatically.  Seek Capital conducted a study of all 50 U.S. states to determine which ones were the best and which ones were the worst for entrepreneurs wanting to start and maintain a successful business. There are definitely some geographic patterns that emerged from the results of the study. Each of the top-rated states saw sizable injections of venture capital into new companies in 2018.   Read More >>



India was facing intense levels of the production of counterfeit bills and tax evasion. To fight this issue, the country introduced demonetization. On the evening of November 8, 2016, India’s government made a surprise announcement that pertained to 86 percent of the country’s cash. Starting at midnight, 500- and 1,000-rupee cash notes would be invalid. Instead, people had to deposit those bills in banks, then withdraw an equivalent amount in new notes. While this may have seemed like a good idea for the country, challenges occurred. The replacement bills were not distributed fast enough, and the country entered a huge cash crunch that lasted about three months. This resulted in people finding alternative currencies to shop with. A temporary policy intervention was sufficient enough to motivate a significant amount of people to switch to e-payment permanently.   Read More >>

Firms Favor Academic Insights That Come From Hubs

When research professors cannot get the attention of pharmaceutical firms, they turn to start-ups to fund the research. Firms are successfully using academic science as a source of having a competitive advantage. Through this, they are able to identify a breakthrough faster than their competitors, If done properly, it could become huge. Academic science plays a growing role for technology development. Its exploitation by firms has become an important frontier for strategy. Given the volume of academic output, firms home in on the academic discoveries that would give them a leg up via hubs. Hubs are geographic clusters of companies’ R&D labs in specific technological fields. Hubs facilitate the translation of academic science into corporate inventions. The struggle with scientific literature is that its extremely voluminous, fast-changing. Much of it is useless and not reproducible. It is not wise to ignore academic science altogether, as hubs produce a disproportionate amount of useful academic science. The best gems sometimes come from unexpected places. Read More >>

Circular Economy & Entrepreneurs

The trends have shown that we are moving towards an economy of disposability, meaning that we extract valuable resources and waste them before making complete utilization.for instance, the threats possessed by single-use plastic is well known, production of clothing has doubled over the past 15 years and about 25% of food prepared for humans goes to waste causing more harm to the planet. However, recently entrepreneurs and innovators are trying to focus on the need for impact-driven innovations that are critical in order to achieve sustainable development goals giving rise to a Circular Economy. accordingly, entrepreneurs such as Karma are discovering ways to make use of excess food from restaurants and shops with interested buyers, Amprobotics is using AI and robots to revolutionise the recycling segment. Read More>>

Using Innovative Finance to Scale Up Corporate Base-of-Pyramid Initiatives

Did you know that 2.5 billion people worldwide are disabled? The disability in question costs billions of dollars in productivity every year and reduces the economic opportunity and personal safety of those afflicted. For all of the danger and the trouble that this physical trait causes, only $37 million dollars annually actually goes to helping people who need prosthetics to correct for their refractive error. The issue in question is, of course, uncorrected poor vision. This common phenomenon is a prime example of a problem that base-of-pyramid market financial innovation is poised to solve in a more efficient, effective, and wide reaching way than ever before. Jayanth Bhuvaraghan and Jasjit Singh of Essilor International and non-for-profit INSEAD Social Entrepreneurship Program (respectively) detail how financial innovation has great potential to be harnessed for good. Read more>>

The Absolutely Necessary Role Of Startups In Urban Neighborhoods Trying To Stage A Comeback

What do cities as different as Miami, Denver, and Philadelphia have in common with one another? The answer, according to Khai Tran of Forbes, is in the way they are approaching to frame their urban revitalization. Typically, cities pin a resurgence upon the acquisition of large businesses to move in and offer a number of low wage jobs in exchange for huge amounts of taxpayer credits. Rather than doing this, Tran maintains that the quickest and most effective panacea for economic rejuvenation is entrepreneurship and startups. Not only are these small businesses paying above the national average and amassing diverse teams of locally sourced talent, but they are breathing life and culture back into cities that were almost written off. Read more>>

Accounting for Time

What is time worth? We all know the simple equation: “time equals money”. In traditional corporate America we forget the equivalency of the two. If you’ve ever wondered, “Is this worth my time?” you are in good company. Ashley Whillans and Hanne Collins of  Harvard Business School decided to do the math, assigning a happiness value to time through the survey and subsequent statistical analysis of the self-reported happiness of  working adults in the United States. The results of their study may convince you to take those extra vacation days. How much happiness equivalent could you be losing by focusing on money over time? Read more>>