Entrepreneurship, Innovation and the Global War for Talent

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Innovation – “the process by which individuals and organizations generate new ideas and put them into practice” – has over the past two centuries been the bedrock of the United States’ economic growth and national competitiveness. From the energy to the computer industries, America’s innovative sectors have been the key drivers of the economy, raising living standards and improving workforce productivity.

Last year, the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation and the Kauffman Foundation released the Global Innovation Policy Index and benchmarked the effectiveness of the innovation policies of 55 countries - including virtually all countries in the European Union, those in the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the BRIC economies (Brazil, Russia, India & China) among others. The Policy Index assessed nations based on seven core innovation policy areas: trade and foreign direct investment, science and R&D, domestic market competition, intellectual property rights, information technology, government procurement and high-skill immigration.

Based on the index, the United States placed in the top tier in every category except openness to high skill immigration.

As the competition for global innovation leadership intensifies, countries around the world are strengthening their innovation policy agenda to attract the world’s brightest and best. Just this month, Canada announced that it will roll out a startup visa that will encourage partnerships between foreign innovators and the Canadian investment community.

Singapore which has for long been ranked by the World Bank as the world’s easiest company to do business in has rapidly risen as a magnet for foreign entrepreneurs looking to establish their businesses attracted by provisions such as the EntrePass designed to facilitate the entry and stay of entrepreneurs.

Chile’s startup program, “Startup Chile” is well known for attracting early stage businesses to start their business in Chile with the ultimate goal of attracting world-class early stage entrepreneurs to start their businesses in Chile and converting Chile into a global innovation hub.

Staying competitive in the global economy will be determined by a myriad of factors; key of which is the global competition for talent. As the market for talent becomes more and more diffuse, smart policy should focus on attracting the world’s best to innovate and create the next game changing businesses.