Based on the current information available, innovation and entrepreneurship will continue to expand in the future across borders, because of the existence of the following six circumstances:
- Global market conditions. Trade barriers are easing. Economies are interdependent. Communication via the Internet has never been easier or more accessible. These conditions drive political reform, cultural transparency, social progress, and a great deal of wealth creation.
- Entrepreneurial mind-set. Entrepreneurs have the ability to see, understand, and take advantage of evolving markets. The entrepreneur’s ability to think differently, use insights, see what others don’t, envision what doesn’t yet exist, and identify opportunity when it’s ripe—these are the prized qualities of today’s entrepreneur, and when adding the ability to do all that across borders, cultures, and technologies, we are clearly witnessing a new exciting, challenging, and demanding era. Wayne Gretzky of national hockey fame helped state it succinctly when he said, “I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it’s been.”
- Eroding confidence in established institutions. The recent world economic meltdown is removing any last confidence that most people had in governments, large enterprise banks, and other financial entities. The resulting mistrust will lead to reinventing ourselves as individuals, communities, countries, and societies. As such, many more entrepreneurs will be joining the field.
- Shifting business environment. Large- scale firms are synonymous with bureaucracy, which tends to stifle innovation. In response, the business environment is shifting to accommodate the needs of its rapidly changing market players. Innovation and entrepreneurship are beginning to flourish around the world and will likely take the form of much smaller, yet bolder companies. Knowing and catering to this is how entrepreneurial ventures beat corporate giants to the punch. Any company, large or small, that continues down the same path it has always taken will find it to be a losing proposition.
- Entrepreneurial collaboration. Also, on a global scale, there will be more entrepreneurial collaboration, which in turn will make shared innovation between countries a far more common occurrence at the company to company level—not just at universities and research institutions. One of China’s approaches for creating an innovative nation is the Technology Business Incubator (TBI). China’s mission is to nurture “technopreneurs” and technologybased startups. Business incubation is considered a viable option for countries that want to expand economic opportunities.
- Growth of environmental and sustainable engineering technologies. A growing consciousness about the value of protecting our world will fuel the demand for products and services that can accomplish this goal.