Entrepreneurship is gaining more respect in China. Today, the country has nearly 24 million small independent companies, and small and medium companies are responsible for 75% of new jobs, cites a recent BusinessWeek article. Though the country has been slow to change, it has become more hospitable to entrepreneurs. The government has developed high-tech zones, science parks, and business incubators to promote business ownership, and it has streamlined its business registration process, though it still is considered onerous by most standards. Many of the people reviving China's state of entrepreneurship are those who have returned to the mainland to start companies after studying or working abroad.
The return of immigrants to their homelands is a topic Stephanie Clifford discussed with David Heenan, author of Flight Capital: The Alarming Exodus of America's Best and Brightest. In the Q&A, Heenan says, "There are significant incentives, both at the corporate level and national level, to get these people to reconsider coming back to the motherland." As entrepreneurship continues to blossom around the world, and more governments see the economic advantages to promoting it, it would seem that the U.S. stands to lose far more than just foreign talent. We could lose a key competitive advantage: Our strength in R&D and innovation, not to mention the job growth engine small business has become. This all begs the question, does the U.S. do enough, on the national, state, and corporate levels, to foster entrepreneurship?