top of page

The changing global economy can quickly create value but is slow to generate sustainable jobs, calling for new approaches. Recent decades have witnessed significant change in the ranks of the most predominant companies. In some places, up to 90% of the firms considered the strongest and most successful as of the 1980s no longer enjoy that status. The past 15 years in particular have seen the rapid and successful rise of firms equipped with new, digital business models that have departed from the more traditional methods of former market leaders. For many older and established firms, this period has not just been a referendum on their success, but on their survival - and their ability to preserve jobs and offer the employment opportunities that they have traditionally provided. Many of the new, digital, and platform-based firms have been able to win both significant market valuations and large (often dominant) market shares both quickly - and with relatively few employees, and scant job opportunities. For example, Kodak, the one-time market leader in analogue photography, once employed close to 150,000 people - whereas Instagram, a leader in digital imagery and sharing, had roughly a dozen employees when it was sold to Facebook in 2012 for about $1 billion. As economies become increasingly automated and machine-driven, their general ability to create new jobs will likely become more limited. According to the US Bureau of Economic Analysis, returns to capital and to labour in the US have diverged in the past - and the current prognosis is that both wages and the numbers of jobs available in classic industrial sectors will continue to decline, as automation and machines increasingly take over (and low-paying jobs are at particular risk). In order to address these challenges, creative entrepreneurship will no doubt be necessary. However, global entrepreneurship surveys suggest that actual entrepreneurial intention, stability, and feasibility differ greatly between and even within countries. Social-, infrastructure-, human- and financial-capital need to be directed at increasing overall entrepreneurial activity. And, the private and public sectors, including the scientific community, need to work together much more closely, in order to enable the fundamental research at universities to either be commercialized by existing firms, or by new firms created for that specific purpose. Meanwhile efficient startup ecosystems need to embrace all stakeholders, create regional networks, and provide necessary support and infrastructure.

Job Creation and Entrepreneurship

KEY TRENDS

Job Creation and Entrepreneurship