National Dialogue on Entrepreneurship
Week of May 23 - May 27, 2005
Welcome to the National Dialogue on Entrepreneurship, an initiative of the
Public Forum Institute made possible by a grant from the Kauffman
Foundation of Kansas City. Through NDE-news, we bring you short summaries
and analyses of various trends driving the innovation economy. Subscribe
now to receive your weekly copy. Archived issues are available online.
Links to the day's entrepreneurship stories from across the nation and
around the world are posted each weekday on the NDE main page - bookmark
it and stay informed about the latest entrepreneurship news.
Capitol Hill Update: Patent Reform Ahead
We have regularly reported on various studies that examine America's
patent and intellectual property protection systems. While these studies
frequently differ in their particulars, they all agree that the current
system needs fundamental reform. The House Judiciary Subcommittee on the
Courts, the Internet, and Intellectual Property, led by Congressman Lamar
Smith (R-TX), has been holding an interesting set of hearings on future
reforms of the patent system. Congressman Smith has developed draft
legislation that would introduce a number of reforms. For example, the
proposal calls for a "first to file" system where patents are provided to
the first person who filed for a patent as opposed to the first person who
invented a new technology, product or service. In addition, the draft
would create a post-patent grant time window that would allow others to
challenge recently granted patents. Many of these changes are expected to
make it easier and cheaper for small businesses to engage in
patent-related litigation. These current discussions are the start of a
long process, but expect to see more discussion and NDE briefings on
patent reform in the current Congress.
Hearing transcripts, the Subcommittee draft proposal and other materials
regarding this patent reform debate are available at the House of
Representatives Committee on the Judiciary website at www.judiciary.house.gov.
As in Politics, All Angel Investing is Local
With venture capitalists becoming much more selective, startups and
entrepreneurs have had to tap new revenue sources in the past several
years, increasingly turning to angel investors to fund new business
ventures. As angel investing has increased in importance, groups of angel
investors are constantly emerging and new and best practices are being
adopted. 'Angel Groups in Action: Funding Early Stage Innovation', a
satellite and web broadcast presented by the MIT Enterprise Forum, the
Kauffman Foundation of Kansas City and its program, the Angel Capital
Association, will tell entrepreneurs what they need to know how to gain
access to angels, how to understand what they are looking for and how they
operate. The program aims to help close the knowledge gap that exists
between entrepreneurs and the tech community, and will explain the
practices and principles of angel investing, both via the broadcast, and
through the in-person networking taking place at each viewing site.
Angel Groups In Action will be broadcast on June 1st at 7:00 pm (eastern)
live from the MIT campus in Cambridge, Massachusetts. To find a viewing
site in your area, visit www.mitenterpriseforum.org for a complete list.
Or, you can email the Enterprise Forum at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like
to create a viewing site in your area if one does not currently exist.
Measuring the Social Impact of Venture Investments
As the venture capital field has grown, we have witnessed a parallel
growth in the field of community development venture capital. While
venture capitalists (VCs) are concerned about the financial bottom line,
community development VCs pursue a double bottom line: seeking to earn
financial returns while also having a positive social impact in the
community. Until recently, we have been much better at measuring the
financial bottom line. A new Measuring Impacts Toolkit, developed by the
Community Development Venture Capital Association (CDVCA), should help in
improving our ability to measure social impacts. The toolkit includes a
series of surveys that will allow social investors to better understand
and track the social and economic impacts of their investments.
To learn more about the Measuring Impacts Toolkit, visit
www.socialfunds.org. To learn more about the Community Development Venture
Capital Association, visit www.cdvca.org. A copy of the toolkit can be
obtained by sending an email to email@example.com.
New Data on Lending Discrimination
A new report from the Small Business Administration's (SBA) Office of
Advocacy confirms what many minority business owners have long suspected.
Many African-American and Hispanic business owners face significantly
higher barriers in accessing capital from traditional sources of business
finance. The researchers took a very detailed look at a whole range of
finance mechanisms, ranging from traditional bank loans to transaction
loans, such as capital leases or vehicle finance. They found that
African-American and Hispanic business owners face greater prospects of
loan denial than do other entrepreneurs. These trends did not appear to be
present for women or Asian business owners. Somewhat surprisingly, the
research also indicates that preferential lending is more common in
transaction loans than in relationship loans (i.e. more traditional bank
To access the 2005 SBA Office of Advocacy report, Availability of
Financing to Small Firms Using the Survey of Small Business Finance, by
Karlyn Mitchell and Douglas K. Pearce, visit
Enterprise Nation 2005
NDE keeps a close eye on approaches to fostering entrepreneurship
overseas, learning from the thinking and research conducted in other
nations, and will receive a delegation from the UK next month. With the
recent re-election of Prime Minister Tony Blair, we can expect even more
news from Britain. Blair's Chancellor of the Exchequer and heir-apparent,
Gordon Brown, is widely recognized as a leading champion of Britain's
entrepreneurs. One way to keep up on these happenings is to tap into the
Enterprise Nation website, which includes lots of interesting information
on Britain's innovation economy. In addition to the latest news and data,
Enterprise Nation is also sponsoring an upcoming conference - Enterprise
Nation 2005: Building a Home for Enterprising Britons. This event, to be
held on June 7th in Birmingham, England, will bring together Britain's
leading entrepreneurs and advocates for entrepreneurship. 'Building a Home
for Enterprising Britons' is being billed as the first ever event to
focus on the increasing number of people starting businesses in their home
and the significant potential to encourage more people, particularly
women, young people and the over 50's to become Home Entrepreneurs.
For more information on Enterprise Nation 2005, visit
Costs of Doing Business
A new report from Economy.com ranks US regions in terms of the cost of
doing business. The survey assesses regions according to several criteria:
labor costs, energy costs, state and local tax burden, and office rents.
Boston ranks as the most expensive metro, and California tops the list for
high-cost states. In fact, California metro areas dominate the list,
accounting for 8 of the top highest cost metros. Researchers attribute
this poor showing to California's high energy costs. While business costs
aren't the only factor driving economic growth, they do have an impact.
The report notes that business costs can explain approximately one-fifth
of a region's employment growth over the past 15 years.
The Economy.com report, Regional Costs of Doing Business, is available at
www.economy.com. Registration is required.
All stories © 2005 The Public Forum Institute
The Kauffman Foundation
The Public Forum Institute
National Dialogue on Entrepreneurship
2300 M Street, NW; Suite 900
Washington, DC 20037
Mark Marich, editor - firstname.lastname@example.org
Content from this newsletter may be reproduced for non-commercial purposes
with proper attribution to the National Dialogue on Entrepreneurship and a
link to www.publicforuminstitute.org/nde.
The Public Forum Institute recognizes and respects the importance of
protecting the privacy of all information provided by recipients of our
e-mail newsletter. We use a variety of security technologies and
procedures to help protect your personal information from unauthorized
access, use, or disclosure and will not share personally identifiable
information with other companies or organizations.