Darrell West examines mobile entrepreneurship’s key role in expanding opportunities for social and economic development around the world. Examining places like Nigeria, Egypt, and Indonesia, West notes that micro-entrepreneurs generate 38 percent of the gross domestic product, generating new ideas, business models, and ways of selling goods and services.
As part of the Center for Technology Innovation’s Mobile Economy Project, West analyzes the importance of wireless technology for entrepreneurship, how mobile improves access to capital and market information, how it helps entrepreneurs serve broader geographic areas and reach new customers, the manner in which it empowers women and the disadvantaged, and the way mobile payments stimulate economic development.
West offers policy recommendations that outline the steps needed to overcome current barriers to m-entrepreneurship.
“This is the way the world thinks about innovation; they don’t think about countries or states or metropolitan areas, or even cities, they think about districts,” he said. “You have that now, and you need to play it out.” [Report release event: Capturing the next economy: Pittsburgh’s rise as a global innovation city]
Bruce Katz of Brookings said Oakland, with the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University, could become a “playground of innovation” through a partnership recommended in the report. The InnovatePGH partnership would feature collaboration between the city, universities, entrepreneurs and corporations to nurture high-tech business. [Report release event: Capturing the next economy: Pittsburgh’s rise as a global innovation city]