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A store closing sign sits outside a Blockbuster movie rental store in Superior, Colorado in this November 19, 2009 file photo. (RICK WILKING)
A store closing sign sits outside a Blockbuster movie rental store in Superior, Colorado in this November 19, 2009 file photo. (RICK WILKING)

Small Business Briefing

Bankruptcies continue to plague firms in OECD area Add to ...

The latest news and information for entrepreneurs from across the web universe, brought to you by the Report on Small Business team. Follow us on Twitter @GlobeSmallBiz

Israel leads way in financing startups

The inaugural edition of Entrepreneurship at a Glance 2011 gives an overview of small-business ownership in OECD countries. The report shows how access to finance, market conditions, regulatory frameworks and cultural perceptions can boost or harm entrepreneurial activity.

Here are some of the key findings:

  • Venture capitalists in Israel allocate more financing to young companies than any other country in the OECD, with the equivalent of 0.18 per cent of GDP dedicated to seed, start-up and early development capital.
  • After a significant decrease in the second half of 2008, the number of new enterprises started to recover around the first half of 2009 in most countries. But by the second quarter of 2010, the number of new enterprises was still below pre-crisis levels in most countries.
  • Bankruptcy procedures increased considerably across the OECD area over the 2008-09 period and continued at high levels through the second quarter of 2010.
  • People in the Nordic countries and the United States have the most favourable image of entrepreneurs, with more than 70 per cent of those surveyed saying they viewed entrepreneurs positively, according to a survey of adults in 36 countries.
  • Indicators on women entrepreneurs show that there are no major differences in the way male or female business owners perceive obstacles to starting a business or growing it.

The report is available to subscribers, or it can also be purchased, but more of the top-level findings are available here.

Summer reading suggestions

Entrepreneurs are facing increased competition, locally and globally; the pace of technological change is increasing; and financing is increasingly difficult to secure. It might explain why a new crop of business books about being a successful entrepreneur say keeping it simple is a virtue. The BDC has put together a list of four titles to add to your summer reading list, and incorporated them in a single, concise review:

  • Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds, and Actions, by Guy Kawasaki
  • The Referral Engine: Teaching Your Business to Market Itself, by John Jantsch
  • The Entrepreneur Equation: Evaluating the Realities, Risks, and Rewards of Having Your Own Business, by Carol Roth
  • Do the Work!: Overcome Resistance and Get Out of Your Own Way, by Steven Pressfield

Entrepreneurs with a conscience

BusinessWeek has done a nice job putting together a slideshow of America's Most Promising Social Entrepreneurs 2011. It selected 25 ventures based on reader suggestions in its third annual roundup, pointing out that businesses aiming to take on social ills and turn a profit are getting increased attention from mainstream investors in the United States.

EDITOR'S PICKS FROM REPORT ON SMALL BUSINESS

Social responsibility acts as talent magnet

Here in Canada, organizations that can cite a record of philanthropy, pro-bono service or a culture of social responsibility also have an edge in attracting talented recruits to their work force, a story we published today finds. In Alberta's oil patch, where competition for talent is intense, companies are using their corporate social responsibility credentials to stand out, says Adine Mees, president of the Vancouver-based non-profit Canadian Business for Social Responsibility.

From the ROSB archives

In February we report that rising commodity prices were starting to put a strain on Canada's small and medium-sized businesses, creating a new hurdle just as many of those companies were starting to feel more confident about the economic recovery.

Got a tip on news, events or other timely information related to the small-business community? E-mail us at yourbusiness@globeandmail.com

Join The Globe's Small Business LinkedIn group to network with other entrepreneurs and to discuss topical issues: http://linkd.in/jWWdzT

Follow on Twitter: @seanstanleigh

 

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