When you’ve seen three American policy and innovation hubs in one week, it’s hard to know where to start untangling the web of information that makes American entrepreneurial culture so successful.
My first impression from Washington, D.C., Baltimore and Raleigh is that culture plays a key role in providing the right environment for growing small and medium sized businesses and start ups. The experts call this fostering an “innovation ecosytem” although most disagree on what the ecosystem actually is. Is it a combination of government funding, business acumen and get-up-and-go resolve? Is it education? Or is it all of these things?
Regardless of how you define the ecosystem, or whether or not you find the word meaningless jargon – a combination of entrepreneurial attitude, readily available and competitive business services, a willingness to embrace risk and a conscious effort to seek out and foster startup talent is keeping the U.S.A one step ahead in responding to epochal changes to the global labour market.
Patriotism, the pursuit of happiness and a sense of civic duty still hold strong in the U.S., missing a lot of the cynicism we’re used to in Europe, even if Americans will be the first to tell you their country isn’t perfect. I’ve been inspired by the strength of civil society here, the warm welcome WWII veterans got returning home from the recent D-Day celebrations and the genuine excitement people convey when listening to new business ideas.
Ultimately, Americans get up and go – spending more time doing than pondering. In business, that’s the kind of energy that leads to innovation and prosperity in a country where twice as many women as men are starting new business ventures.
Article by Laura Hemmati