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By Mike O'Donnell
Posted on: July 14, 2016
There are several good measures of entrepreneurial vitality here in the United States, but the most revealing one, and my favorite, is the Kauffman Foundation’s “Startup Density” rate. This rate is the number of firms that are less than a year old and have at least one employee besides the owner, divided by the total population (in 100,000s).In 1977, there were more than 250 company startups per 100,000 people. That ratio has been steadily declining over the years, with the biggest decrease ever during the Great Recession. In 2015, there were only 130.6 company startups per 100,000 people.... read more
By David Brodwin
Posted on: July 8, 2016
Reagan began the war on government in 1981 when he said "Government is not the solution to our problem, government is the problem." His trans-Atlantic soulmate, Margaret Thatcher, also took up the charge. 35 years later, that line of attack now stands as an important contributor to both the U.K.'s "Brexit" vote and of the rise of Donald Trump.To understand the connection between antigovernment rhetoric and today's upheavals, it helps to notice that the Trump campaign and the Brexit vote are two manifestations of the same underlying dissatisfaction among the voting public.The British who voted... read more
By David Brodwin
Posted on: July 1, 2016
On May 9, Uber's bluff was called in Austin and a new chapter began in the global economy. Uber and Lyft got into an argument with Austin's government over fingerprinting requirements. The two companies spent at least $8.6 million to push through a local ballot proposition to get their way. When Austin voters spurned them, Uber and Lyft suddenly halted their service, stranding riders and depriving drivers of expected income. (Drivers are suing.)Perhaps Uber thought that Austin residents would capitulate at the specter of life without them, but if so, they thought wrong. "Don't Mess with Texas... read more
By Daniel Barlow
Posted on: June 21, 2016
Our opponents called the idea crazy. We were told Vermont would become a food desert. Even if the bill passed, they told us we would lose the case in court.Those dire and unfounded warnings didn’t stop Vermonters from demanding something that made a lot of sense to them – the creation of a state system to label genetically engineered food being sold in our stores. Farmers, consumers, and business leaders in the Green Mountain State were tired of inaction on the federal level, and wanted to bring some simple and straightforward transparency to our food system.Not only did we succeed, we have... read more
By David Brodwin
Posted on: June 16, 2016
Six months ago, the United States made strong commitments to address climate change at the U.N. climate conference in Paris. In another six months, our politics will decide whether we will honor those commitments or walk away from them.If we stay the course, we will need to slash our carbon footprint without hurting our economy. Almost any action to cut carbon will make for good economics in the long run, since climate change will cost billions if allowed to continue.But what approach to carbon reduction has the best economics in the short term? Probably the best solution is simply to make... read more
By Iva Kaufman
Posted on: June 16, 2016
Bob Dylan wrote those words decades ago, and times really have changed a lot since then. But what about for women? Is the economy really transforming and bettering women’s lives?That question earned a resounding "yes" at the recent Power Shift Forum for Women in the World Economy, an event hosted by Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business, the MasterCard Center for Inclusive Growth, the Library of Congress and Professor Linda Scott of the DoubleXEconomy. The energy and optimism expressed by attendees resonates with the overall policy agenda and priorities put forth by the... read more
By Jenny Kassan
Posted on: June 8, 2016
Back in 2010, I was running the Community Supported Enterprise (CSE) Program at the nonprofit Sustainable Economies Law Center (SELC).I had co-founded SELC with another attorney, Janelle Orsi, to help early-stage, mission-driven entrepreneurs succeed. Our job was to help them navigate the rules that govern the raising of capital as they work to create a healthy, just, and sustainable economy.That summer the CSE program had some great law student interns. We decided to focus on changing the securities laws – the lavws that govern how enterprises can raise capital from investors.We created a... read more
By Vlad Gutman
Posted on: May 31, 2016
For nearly twenty years, Climate Solutions has been working in the Pacific Northwest to accelerate the transition to clean and efficient energy. Over that time we have worked in partnership with hundreds of businesses committed to increasing sustainability in their operations, producing and using cleaner fuels, pioneering efficiency programs, and driving adoption of renewable energy.Progressive businesses recognize that, after decades of tax subsidies for fossil fuel production, it's time the nation starts incentivizing clean power, creating tens of thousands of American jobs in the process.... read more
By David Brodwin
Posted on: May 30, 2016
Greyston Bakery is an unusual bakery, with an unusual business philosophy: "We don't hire people to bake brownies, we bake brownies to hire people." This 32-year-old bakery in economically depressed Yonkers, New York, operates a comprehensive workforce development program. It hires hard-to-employ individuals and gives them the skills, training and support they need to succeed. And it supports efforts like "ban the box" that help disadvantaged prospective employees nationwide.Greyston is an example of a social enterprise – an entity that is not quite a business in the usual sense but not quite... read more
By John Heymann
Posted on: May 25, 2016
For years, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has held itself out as the “voice of business.” Politicians court their approval and, when it comes to crafting business-friendly legislation, elected officials ignore Chamber lobbying at their peril.But the U.S. Chamber really only represents a certain kind of business: big. And for years, big businesses, whether in the financial sector, manufacturing, energy, retail, services, or tech, have focused primarily on one thing – maximizing short-term profits. That single-minded drive for profits has been at the root of many spectacular frauds and failures... read more