I’ve moved from the West Coast over to the Mid-West, if you want to take a look at how the 50 States of the US are grouped, here’s a good image. The temperature here is pushing 30, with high humidity which is a different heat! Kansas City has some outstanding art, particularly the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.
Dane, Jonathan, Mette and the rest of the team were fantastic hosts at the inspiring Kauffman Foundation which has three focuses — educational achievement, entrepreneurial success and Kansas City. The founder Ewing Kauffman, believed that entrepreneurship and education were critical in developing self-sufficient people and a vibrant economy and society. Ewing Kauffman was an entrepreneur who founded Marion Laboratories Inc and the Kauffman Foundation is one of many enduring legacies. The closest thing I can think of in NZ is the Tindall Foundation.
To say the Kauffman Foundation are experts on research and the practical application of it are understatements. If I had to sum up what I learned it is this: 0-5 year old companies + talent = main source of job growth.
A couple of my favourite insights:
- The importance of young firms for economic growth. New and young companies are the primary source of job creation in the American economy. These firms also contribute to economic dynamism by injecting competition into markets and spurring innovation (quote from their website). I wonder if it is the same in New Zealand, and if so how do we encourage more firms to start and then grow?
- An early indicator for entrepreneurship in the United States. It would be very interesting to see this type of indicator in New Zealand overall and at a micro level for each location.
- The dos and don’ts of local entrepreneurship promotion is a great read.
If you’re interested in this type of stuff I recommended signing up to their policy digest…don’t be put off by the ‘policy’ word…they are very easy two page reads, most with infographics.
I also managed to sit in on a talk from John Tammy about his new book Popular Economics, his view on barriers to growth were taxes, regulation, money and non-free trade.
There’s something about those ‘C’ words that keep popping up – collaborating, coordinating, connecting, convening. Smart people working together on innovative solutions for complex problems. Not once so far have I heard words like structure or process mentioned.