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18
Apr

Global Entrepreneurship and Development Index

An interesting and dynamic new tool for measuring and comparing knowledge- and technology-based entrepreneurship and emerging company activities on a global basis is the recently developed and announced Global Entrepreneurship and Development Index (“GEDI”).  The GEDI was created to address and overcome several of key shortcomings of existing measures of national entrepreneurship, including the failure of indexes such as the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor to incorporate the different impacts of businesses and ranking countries based primarily on the number of businesses without regard to their success from a financial perspective or in terms of job creation and improving the local knowledge base.  In the words of the US Small Business Administration: “The GEDI captures the contextual features of entrepreneurship by focusing on three broad areas.  The first is entrepreneurial attitudes, a society’s basic attitudes toward entrepreneurship through education and social stability.  The second area of focus is entrepreneurial activity, what individuals are actually doing to improve the quality of human resources and technological efficiency.  The final area is entrepreneurial aspirations, how much of the entrepreneurial activity is being directed toward innovation, high-impact entrepreneurship, and globalization.”  The dimension of “entrepreneurial aspirations” is particularly important to the study of emerging companies across borders since it incorporates, in the words of the researchers who developed the GEDI, “the efforts of the early-stage entrepreneur to introduce new products and services, develop new production processes, penetrate foreign markets, substantially increase the number of firm employees, and finance the business with either formal or informal venture capital, or both”.  The first rankings appeared earlier this year and were highlighted in a recent article in The Economist, which noted: “America is the most enterprising big economy. The EU comes second. The rest of the world, including India and China, is far behind.”  An interesting finding was that four of the five Nordic countries were in the top ten, with Denmark leading the pack at No. 1!  We’ll be revisiting the GEDI again in the future.

11
Apr

Export Sales Transactions Evaluation Checklist

While the first step that exporters should take in evaluating export control compliance issues associated with a particular foreign sales transaction is to collect information using a foreign customer or reseller application, it is also important to take a closer look at the particular sales transaction to see if the circumstances raise any “red flags” that might cause the exporter to reconsider whether to move forward with the transaction. One due diligence method that should be considered is to have someone at the exporter actually discuss the transaction with an authorized representative of the purchaser in cases where the transaction falls outside the normal course of business between the parties.  This report provides a useful checklist to use when conducting such a discussion.

4
Apr

Definitions of Societal Culture

In order for cross-cultural studies to be understandable and meaningful it is necessary to develop an accepted view of the concept of "societal culture", including a workable definition of the term.  This Working Paper describes some of the attempts that have been made by social scientists to define "culture".

4
Apr

Current Status of Economic & Social Development in Africa

Managers in all countries, including developing countries, must act within the broader economic and social context in which they live and work and it is therefore important for them to understand the current status of economic and social development initiatives in their countries and regions.  This month’s report summarizes the current situation in Africa based on a paper published by the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa and the African Union Commission.  The report indicates that Africa appears to have weathered the recent global economic crisis and sustained and strengthened its economic recovery in 2010 by achieving an average GDP growth rate of 4.7%, which compared to a 2.3% increase in 2009.  The report  highlighted several positive factors as provided the foundation for the economic recovery in Africa, including the rebound of export demand and commodity prices; increased inflows of foreign direct investment especially in extractive industries and aid; return of tourism; investment in infrastructure associated with countercyclical policies adopted by many African countries; increased activities in the service sector, particularly in telecommunications, higher consumer demand; and good harvests in some countries.  However, much still needs to be done in order for Africa to realize its potental–some have speculated that if things goes well Africa will be the fastest growing continent in the world during the second half of the 21st Century.