Friday, September 12, 2008

Government's role in entrepreneurship

I believe encouraging entrepreneurship is an absolutely essential role of any government concerned with the future economic health of their country. It is no surprise to see a strong correlation between economic growth and the ease of doing business in a country. This is not a statement about political systems. We have seen that non-democratic governments are sometimes even more successful at understanding the power of capitalism; look at Singapore and what is happening in China, Vietnam, etc.

With the mobility of people and ideas today, countries need to compete for commerce. Why would anyone choose to set up a business in Brazil where it takes 18 bureaucratic steps and 152 days to get the company officially registered if they had the option to incorporate in Canada

where it takes only 1 step and is completed in 1 day? Why set up a company in France when you will be financially punished to the point of bankruptcy if you need to fire someone? Why do business in the Middle East if you cannot count on the rule of law to back up your contracts. Of course not all ideas and people are as mobile as others. Even so, bureaucracy, corruption, labor laws, etc. are all inhibiting entrepreneurship and thus standards of living across the globe.

In the interest of their domestic economies, politicians must take an active role in making the (sometimes painful) reforms needed to help fuel entrepreneurship.

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