Presidential campaign and election has ended with all cheers and happiness for Obama administration and supporters. Now, comes a huge task, as claimed by both candidates, an effort to re-build America. We all know why America is called a land of opportunity and has a distinct edge that separates it from the rest of the world. It is the entrepreneurial culture that gives everyone a hope and opportunity to see ones dream come true. But with current economicÂ turmoil, political instability and lack of focus, America is losing its luster as an entrepreneurial powerhouse of the world. We, all entrepreneurial immigrants have heard one or more stories about the brain drain happening in America. Several of my close entrepreneurial friends moved back to their native land to pursue their dream. American startups accounts for majority of jobs in the country, and yet political system is gradually ignoring its role and making America lose its edge as an entrepreneurial world. Many countries are exploiting this situation and providing great haven for entrepreneurs. So, it is a plea from entrepreneurs of America to the president to helpÂ bring America back to the map as world’s top place to build a business and create innovation. Focusing on following five things would go a long way in assuring American Entrepreneurs a successful run.
We all are aware of Americaâs growing immigration problem and how it is impacting its positioning in the world. With overwhelming Hispanic voters going for Obama sent a clear message to both parties. Immigration reform should be a primary focus on your agenda to win an election. For math nerds: Hispanics made up 10 percent of the total vote and gave Obama almost three votes for every one earned by Romney. Obama may even have won a majority among Florida’s Cuban voters, who were once a Republican mainstay.Â For aspiring entrepreneurs stuck in immigration debacle, it is a truly agonizing battle. Consider crÃ¨me-de-la-crÃ¨me belt of immigrants who graduate from top universities, with top degrees and have to wait for 5 years before getting a permanent residency. What would this forced 5 year wait do? Demotivate, almost kill entrepreneurial spirit within and make you a worker from an inventor. Imagine having to wait 5 years by sticking to a sponsor company for your H1b. So, even if you have an entrepreneurial bug, you have no other way but to join some corporate job that is willing to sponsor your H1b, work your way through that company till you get your green card, then you can call the quits and get cranking on your entrepreneurial adventure. Is anything wrong with this logic? No sane and capable brain could afford wasting 5 primary years of their life to political loophole. This is the solo reason for many entrepreneurs to leave the country to other favorable avenues to pursue their dream. America is also facing a huge shortage in talent pool that could prepare America for tomorrow. Immigration reform will open pathways for this much-awaited talent to enter and disrupt startup world in US of A. So, Mr. Obama as we all immigrant entrepreneurs are angry and annoyed by the delay in immigration reform, we hope that it will make its way in this term helping America re-claiming its crown, when it comes to entrepreneurship.
Want to invest in future? What better way to invest other than investing in American entrepreneurs, helping solve the problems of tomorrow. Why pay banks billions of dollars to bailout, that is not going to solve the economic crises. Using that money to crank innovation engine will go a long way by producing more business opportunities, more businesses and therefore more employment. Remember more than 80% of workforce is employed by small businesses. So, it is important to invest in small businesses and startups. President Obama should use his 2nd term to create more opportunities for American smallÂ businesses. As we have seen some much needed love from President Obamaâs administration during 1stÂ term towards U.S. Small Business Administration by allowing them bigger wallet for their loan size on their largest lending program. More federal programs should be introduced to help entrepreneurs in a similar manner, by providing funds, grants and contracts commercializing products and taking their business to next level. Other measures that are seeking the day of the light are the proposal to reduce taxes on startup expenses, extend a policy that allows businesses to deduct the cost of equipment and software, and expand government small business investment program by $1 billion. Some tax breaks will also go a long way in providing help with operational expenses for startups. So,Â capitalÂ access to startups is another big agenda seeking President’s attention.
Flexible and friendly regulations:
Regulations are another key area biting hard and making it almost impossible for any business to run smoothly.Â The Atlantic, and Yahoo! Finance jointly published an in-depth article:Â âWhat Kills Small Business?Â Letâs Ask Them.Â The article states that â69 percent of small business owners and managers say that complicated governmentÂ regulationsÂ are âmajor impediments; to the creation ofÂ new jobs.âÂ Entrepreneurs, startups and small businesses always need flexible and friendly regulations. Last 4 years had been swiped by too much bipartisan deadlocks, causing delays in every aspect of regulation easing on laws that help small businesses. Luckily, President Obama is a strong believer in investing in small businesses. His 1st term, did show some signs as Jumpstart Our Business Startup ActÂ was approved last April. This term should be used to promote and execute JOBS Act. JOBS Act helps small businesses gain access to financing with investor protection. Â JOBS act also raises curtain on “Crowd-funding”, which is going to be another huge area to channelize liquidity to small businesses, critical to startup success. This law also creates an IPO on-ramp that gives young companies temporary relief from certain SEC regulations, making it easier and more feasible to go public. So, these 4 years should be focused in making sure that those programs see light of the day and help businesses get fewer regulations for growth. Â Effort should be made to make possible the rollout for similar acts as soon as possible, so that small businesses and startups can make use of them and benefit from them sooner and grow rapidly without worrying about regulationsÂ comingÂ in the way.
Boosting and fixing exports and trade:
This presidential election had us all listening to how unfair China gets with its trade policy. How big corporations take advantage of tax loopholes and take outside refuge to claim taxÂ exemption, and report less revenue,Â costing America billions in taxes at the same time giving big companies and foreign corporations an unfair advantage. To make it fair for small businesses to survive, it is important for Obama administration to fix those trade loopholes and give everyone a fair chance at winning the customer. So, as promised, Obama administration should crack down on those laws giving undue advantage to a few. As perÂ Obama campaign spokesman Adam Fetcher,Â looking ahead, the president “will make sure that no foreign company has an unfair advantage over American companies by offering more generous financing through the Export-Import Bank,”. The Export-Import Bank supported a record $6 billion in financing and insurance for small businesses last year, and more than 85 percent of the bankâs transactions were for small businesses.Â In 2010, President Obama also set a goal to double exports over five years and create the National Export Initiative to promote U.S. goods and remove trade barriers, expand access to credit, and promote strong growth worldwide. This initiative will also help local small businesses get the international exposure and an opportunity to expand. So, export and trade law fixes and boost will facilitateÂ entrepreneurs gain competitive edge and provide an opportunity to expand to foreign markets. The president is also due on negotiating a new, expanded Trans-Pacific Partnership, a trade pact with nations including Australia, Singapore and Mexico, among others.Â So, fixing import-export issues will also go a long way in establishing a fair competition and hence healthy business.
Energize Startup/Small businesses initiative:
Obama administration should help in every possible way to promote startup. Provide as much opportunity, assistance, funding, work as possible. During Obama administration’s 1st term, $300 billion in federal-prime contracts have been awarded toÂ small businesses since 2009, and one-third of all federal-contracting dollars in the Recovery Act went to small businesses. President Obama has further emphasized his interest for an infrastructure bill that could boost construction and engineering jobs across the country. The president plans “to create an economy built to last that relies on small-business growth, investments in entrepreneurship, advanced manufacturing and increased exporting,” Fetcher says.Â This is certainly a fine strategy, as is the Kauffman Foundation’s work on “Startup Act”. Startup Act proposes softer immigration laws for entrepreneurs, improving channels for early stage financing, improve broken patent system and to clear its backlog andÂ remove barriers to the formation and growth of businesses through the introduction of automatic ten-year sunsets for all major rules. Startup America is another great initiative started to help build a community of collaborative learning within startups. More such efforts are needed from Administration to assist startup. Many private companies have also jumped into the pool seeing Obama administration do it. Mr. President, please build more such programs that helps entrepreneurs connect, collaborate and huddle to success.
So, notably 5 primary things that will unleash the entrepreneur’s ability to build world’s most disruptive startups and promote job growth is needed.Â Mr President, this is a humble plea from an immigrant entrepreneur who is trying to make a difference. With your help, we all could flourish, taking America with us to a path of prosperity and success. By the way, congratulations Mr. President, you were a good president, hopefully this term will establish you as the President that got America to its Innovation 2.0 map and saved the world.