Thanks on Thanksgiving

There are many reasons to give thanks on Thanksgiving. From a business owner’s point of view, there are some special reasons to remember.

The U.S. is (almost) the best country in which to start a business
According to a September 2010 report by the SBA’s Office of Advocacy, the U.S. ranks third (after Denmark and Canada) as the best place in the world to start a business.

The report measured entrepreneurial performance in 71 countries. It should be clarified that the report focused on entrepreneurship, a qualitative phenomenon, versus small business, which is a quantitative activity.

Entrepreneurship will find a solution
Whatever the problem, creative entrepreneurs will solve problems; the profit motive is a great incentive.

Take the case of a local inventor in Colorado who created and is now selling TSA underwear. Passengers concerned about displaying their private parts on airport scanners can be shielded by fig leafs in the special underwear.

Entrepreneurship is a pathway out of poverty
Despite government programs and billions of dollars spent on assistance, one solution to poverty is entrepreneurship.

Take the case of Rwanda, a country devastated by genocide through 1994 that is now a successful emerging market and model to other underdeveloped nations. In a report by SevenFund.org, a virtual non-profit entity run by entrepreneurs whose strategy is to markedly increase the rate of innovation and diffusion of enterprise-based solutions to poverty, the country has experienced average annual growth since 2004 of 8%. The growth is through enterprises.

Making microloans to people in poverty so that they can start businesses continues to be a growing trend. In 2006, Muhammad Yunus, a Bangladeshi economist and his Grameen Bank, won the Nobel Peace Prize for microlending.

According to the State of Microcredit Summit Campaign Program, in 1997 fewer than 8 million families had been served by micro-credit worldwide, but the end of 2004 there were 3,200 micro-credit institutions serving more than 92 million people. While there have been some serious problems with micro-lending, such as unscrupulous collection activities, the concept is still without peer.

If you want to share your good fortune during this holiday season by participating in micro-lending, check out Kiva.

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