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Category: Economics

Looking Ahead in 2015

January 26, 2015 by Akira Hirai

Small Busines Optimism

An old saying has it that people vote with their feet. If recently released research is any indication, small business owners, entrepreneurs, and other like-minded businesspeople can expect a stampede in the new year – particularly if they follow the lead of their colleagues as well as their competitors. New research from Kabbage, Inc., an online provider of small business loans, shows that small business optimism is at a three-year high. Ninety-five percent of business owners taking part in the survey said they expected increased revenue in 2015. On an [Read More]

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Price Your Product to Capture the Value You Create

May 14, 2014 by Shyam Jha

value based pricing

Are you leaving money on the table by pricing products based on costs? According to Wharton marketing professors Jagmohan Raju and John Zhang, most companies either price their products and services based on their costs, or their competitors. They fail to capture the value they create for their customers. When asked how they set their prices, many executives throw their hands up the air and say, we don’t set the prices, markets do. They are wrong. Markets don’t set prices; marketers do. In their book titled Smart Pricing, Raju and [Read More]

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Africa is Sizzling!

March 15, 2013 by Akira Hirai and Jimmy Lewin

Business in Africa

Sub-Saharan Africa is hot, and often, very humid. But that is not what we mean by sizzling. The IMF forecasts that sub-Saharan economies will grow at 5.7%, and the region is home to nine of the world’s 20 fastest-growing economies. That is the central theme of Dealmakers Dream of African Riches, an article appearing in the January 21-January 27, 2013 issue of Bloomberg Businessweek. The authors of the piece report that Citigroup, Barclays, and Standard Chartered are expanding their presence in Africa in the hopes of taking advantage of agricultural, [Read More]

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Startup Act 3.0

February 28, 2013 by Akira Hirai

Startup Act 3.0

A new study by the Kauffman Foundation estimates that the passage of the bipartisan Startup Act 3.0 bill, which expands the number of visas available to foreign-born entrepreneurs who already hold other kinds of visas, would create as many as 1.6 million jobs in the United States over 10 years. The Kauffman Foundation also produced a brief video that highlights how foreign-born entrepreneurs might have a different view of the startup landscape than domestic entrepreneurs. You can see Kauffman’s full report here.

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David Brooks is Right

August 27, 2012 by Jimmy Lewin

David Brooks is right

On Saturday, August 4, 2012 The Salt Lake Tribune published an opinion piece written by The New York Times’ David Brooks titled How Much of Your Success is Due to You? It is, of course, a response to a comment that President Barak Obama made in a political speech several weeks ago in which he commented that successful people owe their success, in part, to many external factors as well as their own talent and skills. In reading the article, we thought about our clients and visitors to this blog [Read More]

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Australian Example

October 12, 2011 by David Kaplan

Shovel Ready Projects

An entrepreneur emailed me from Australia the other day and asked me to prepare a formal price quote so that he could submit it with a grant application. He has developed a new medical device and plans to market it worldwide. We had been discussing his overall business plan and his USA strategies in particular. The particulars of the grant application came as a surprise to me and revealed an unexpectedly enlightened government policy. The grant is offered through an entrepreneurial initiative of the Australian Government called “Commercialisation Australia” (that’s [Read More]

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What Government Can Do to Spur Innovation

September 5, 2011 by Marty Zwilling

Rebuilding America

The innovation engine that powered the U.S. economy over the last century seems to be slowing down and dying, threatening not only local opportunities, but the economies all over the world. The $30 billion trade surplus in advanced technology products that America enjoyed just one decade ago has now become a $56 billion deficit. More and more people, like Henry R. Nothhaft, in his new book “Great Again: Revitalizing America’s Entrepreneurial Leadership” are already calling these last ten years the “Lost Decade.” Nothhaft has put together a challenging but small [Read More]

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Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us

July 22, 2011 by Akira Hirai

drive: the surprising truth about what motivates us

Daniel Pink’s book, Drive, explores some misconceptions about what drives human behaviors. For example, one commonly held belief is that if you provide larger monetary incentives, people will perform better. This turns out to be true for simple, mechanical tasks, but false when applied to complex tasks that require conceptual reasoning. For the latter, better outcomes are achieved by providing autonomy, providing people with the opportunity to master the subject matter, and creating a sense of purpose. This brilliantly animated video summarizes some of Dan’s thinking. It’s well worth 10 [Read More]

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Baby Boomers are Leading the Startup Charge

April 13, 2011 by Marty Zwilling

The Baby Boomers are Leading the Startup Charge

Contrary to what most of you might guess, the highest rate of entrepreneurial activity over the last few years is not Gen-Y young upstarts, but Baby Boomers in the 55-64 year age group. In fact, according to a study by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, these Boomers are actually driving a new entrepreneurship boom. Some people are calling entrepreneurship the ‘new mid-life crisis’ for the 76 million-strong demographic once thought to be over the hill. Partially due to the economy, but also due to longer, healthier lives and changes in [Read More]

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Should the SBA be a Lender of Last Resort?

March 19, 2010 by Jimmy Lewin

Should the SBA be a Lender of Last Resort?

The March 4, 2010 issue of The Wall Street Journal had an article written by Emily Maltby titled A Plea for Direct Lending to Companies. In the piece, Ms. Maltby discusses the pros and cons of the SBA passing over the banks and becoming a direct lender to small businesses itself. Clearly there are pros and cons but the general conclusion is that the SBA does not have the infrastructure in terms of systems, trained lenders, etc. to become a direct lender and in any case, does not want to compete [Read More]

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