'Venturesome Economy' Benefits From Research Produced Abroad, Holds Key to Continuing American Prosperity

Rossana Weitekamp, (516) 593-2413; rossana@weitekamp.com
Barbara Pruitt, (816) 932-1288; bpruitt@kauffman.org, Kauffman Foundation

Author presented findings at international OECD Working Party on Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises and Entrepreneurship conference

(KANSAS CITY, Mo.), October 30, 2008 – Even as the turmoil in America's financial markets provokes fear and anxiety over our economic future, a new book, The Venturesome Economy: How Innovation Sustains Prosperity in a More Connected World, asserts a contrasting view. By taking advantage of innovation abroad, the United States can better weather economic volatility, according to the book's author, Amar Bhidé. Based on research funded by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, Bhidé shows that innovation abroad, rather than posing a threat, actually enhances U.S. prosperity.

Bhidé, the Glaubinger Professor of Business at Columbia University, conducted extensive interviews with chief executive officers of venture-capital-backed businesses to examine how technology really advances in modern economies. He concludes that, because innovation continues despite economic ups and downs, it is the key to long-term American prosperity.

"Where the innovation originates matters little," Bhidé said. "What does matter is where we find the 'venturesome consumers'—those that are able to apply cutting-edge, global research to create the highest economic value by meeting consumer needs. As long as the United States maintains its venturesome spirit, it benefits from research produced throughout the world." Foreign technology, he explains, frequently forms the basis for American products. Apple's iPod, for example, is based on Asian and European technology, but owes its consumer success to high-quality American managerial and marketing expertise.

"Amar Bhidé's research reveals that arguments for protectionism have no basis in fact," said Robert E. Litan, vice president of Research & Policy, Kauffman Foundation. "Innovation remains consistent in both good and bad economic times, and the application of that innovation—produced both here and around the globe—to its best consumer use will be a major force behind ensuring long-term American prosperity."

Bhidé presented his findings as part of a panel discussion at the Special Statistical Session on Globalisation, Entrepreneurship and SMEs held by the Working Party on Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises and Entrepreneurship on October 28, 2008, in Paris. The Kauffman Foundation is one of the event's sponsors.

For more details about the book, visit www.bhide.net.