Posts Tagged ‘entrepreneurs’

Wendy Waters
by Wendy Waters
Mon Sep 28th 2009 at 8:34am UTC

“Free” Agency?

Monday, September 28th, 2009

As previously discussed on this blog, in Canada this recession has pushed a number of people into self-employment. In the U.S., the trend has been less pronounced. Yet I suspect one part of the trend is happening, or soon will, in America – the move by many firms to hire “contract” employees who technically are not employees in that no deductions are taken from their pay and no extended medical or dental benefits are offered.

In Canada, some of the newly self-employed are launching new entrepreneurial start-up businesses that eventually may hire dozens of people or more. Entrepreneurship seems to be doing better in Canada than it has in a while.

But many “self-employed” persons are working on contracts in positions that were formerly salaried. A corporate recruiter recently explained the trend in the Globe and Mail:

Jeff Aplin, Calgary-based executive vice-president with David Aplin Recruiting, has also noticed a shift to more temporary work. Across Canada, he’s seen a surge of demand for contract consultants in accounting, engineering or IT to work a fixed term with a fixed task. “There’s definitely more appetite for a flexible work force” he says.

Because the 21st century economy will likely require the ability to adapt and change quickly, successful companies will likely want a certain percentage of their staff to be on fixed term contracts. Contractors may be a larger part of the future workforce.

Just because employers prefer it doesn’t mean those with talent to “sell” will want it. (And the unemployment rate in many skilled areas isn’t that high so, even in this down time, employees have some power here). Presumably, contractors receive some advantages, such as increased pay to compensate for the lower benefits.

So, for contractors, what are the advantages? What will employers need to offer in the future to have a healthy pool of contractors to choose from when they need them?

Do you primarily work on contract, doing work that others are paid on salary for?

Do you like the freedom? Or would you prefer a salaried position with set vacation allotments, benefits, etc.?

Zoltan Acs
by Zoltan Acs
Thu Jul 23rd 2009 at 9:57am UTC

Immigration, What’s the Big Deal?

Thursday, July 23rd, 2009

It’s my pleasure to announce the release of a new study of immigrant entrepreneurs in the U.S. high-tech sector, which I co-authored with David Hart and Spencer Tracy. The central finding of the study is that about 16 percent of the nationally representative sample of high-impact, high-tech businesses that we surveyed count at least one foreign-born person among their founding team.

Only about three percent of the founders of high-impact, high-tech companies are foreigners (60 out of 2034). 97 percent are U.S. citizens, and specifically 87 percent are U.S.-born, while the other 10 percent are naturalized U.S. citizens. Furthermore, most foreign-born founders lived in the US for decades.  These founders are statistically very similar to the average U.S. population in terms of birth and immigration status.

An interesting but unanswered aspect of the study is how these high-tech immigrants (many not new), part of the international creative class, help integrate U.S. business in a post-American world? Do they as some have claimed strengthen America in a post-American world, or is it a non-issue? If they strengthen our connection to the rest of the world through “brain circulation” is the flight of the creative class not a major public policy issue?

A second issue has to do with closing the borders. If America closed the borders to high impact entrepreneurs, would its own citizens fill the breach? Would more students become better high school students and go on to college and graduate school in engineering and the sciences? This is a much more difficult question to answer, but is again at the heart of public policy today.