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Self-employment and Entrepreneurship

Across the globe, more than ever, innovation is needed to drive economic development. It's not just in developing and emerging economies but the US and the EU, in particular, need innovation-focused economies. We're having an extensive discussion on global innovation.

Update 20 March 2012: Global self-employment news

• The growth in self-employment is driving business-to-business activity.
• Louisiana is the 13th state to adopt 'misclassification' laws.
• Finally, some common sense on mortgage requirements for self-employed people.
• This is strange: Business Africa Daily says that self-employment is different from business ownership. (We disagree!)
Five million more Americans are now self-employed (video).

Update 4 February 2012: The future of work

Work is changing rapidly. Here is what some commentators have to say:
• Say goodbye to your office cubicle.
• The art of engaging independent contractors. (New York Times)
• 45% of US workers to be 'contingent' by 2020. That changes politics.

Update 27 Jan 2012: Enabling or destroying entrepreneurs and jobs

A new analysis from the UK-based Institute of Economic Affairs should be compulsory reading for government policy-makers and economists. Self-employment, Small Firms and Enterprise focuses on the need to allow self-employment to flourish if entrepreneurship is to occur. Here is our summary of the main points. The full report is available here.

Update 21 Jan 2012: A world of new work challenges

As the world of work undergoes huge changes the global debate is hot.

Forbes magazine discusses how to make money without a job.
• The UK Daily Telegraph says that business does better when owned by the staff.
The Economist asks if technology kills jobs.
• South Carolina has decided it will support self-employed people.
• The Wall St Journal looks at the different angles of a world with declining permanent jobs. There's good and bad.
• The Havana Times questions the value of Cuba leaning toward the 'new Chinese imperialism' (called capitalism). Surely this demonstrates the extent of change.
• CNN explains that, as workers gain more freedom, the lines between self-employed and employed are becoming blurred.

Update 14 Jan 2012: Policies to enable job creation

The Huffington Post says that self-employed baby-boomers are the new job starters. The Age journalist, Michael Pascoe, says pity the self-employed---but he wouldn't work any other way.

• The Adam Smith Institute say that small business in the UK should be allowed to engage workers as independent contractors, moving tax payment responsibility to individuals. This would boost jobs growth they say. Short article. Full paper.

• New Hampshire has introduced independent contractor declarations which enable clarity to be achieved

Update 14 Jan 2012: Strangling job creation

One common claim made is that the US loses billions in payroll tax because of independent contractors. California has just introduced 780 new business regulation laws, including a big clampdown on 'misclassification' of independent contractors. Australian government minister Bill Shorten says he loves independent contractors, but government actions reflect aggression rather than 'love'.

Update 9 Jan 2012: The 'false' employee. Really self-employed

More and more employers are treating employees as if they were independent contractors. It's the rise of the 'false' employee. The New York Times talks of the rise of the multi-taskers, really self-employed look-alikes. But watch the tax authorities seek to crush this, the articles says. Cuba continues to open its economy to self-employment. My, how things are changing!

Update 27 Dec 2011: The micro-multinational is taking over

A Brussels-registered think-tank, the Lisbon Council, says the micro-multinational is taking over. Technology and social trends are enabling individuals to compete with big companies, even globally. It's where all the jobs and innovation growth are occurring. Here's a summary and the report.

Update 22 Dec 2011: Is employment dying or will arrogance prevail? A discussion

Forbes magazine says for American workers it's the age of independence. A report from ARNnet says that by the year 2050 employment will have disappeared.
    "...the Industrial Age brought about the modern employee and a new type of bondage in the form of unions. This bondage is being replaced by independence."
Surprisingly, Ken Phillips is cautious about such a prediction, saying beware of the 'Caligula factor'.

Update 28 Aug 2011: Small business-people NOT little big businesses.

Some international perspectives on the self-employed small business situation.

Northern Ireland: Simon Bridge says contrary to government's often-held view, small business people are NOT little big businesses.

USA: Michael Kazin reflects that Americans firmly believe that being self-employed is better than being employed. Farah Gay argues that the Black American tradition of self-employment is back in America. And Blogger Susannah Breslin explains how becoming a freelancer was liberating.

Canada: New research shows self-employed entrepreneurs are mostly older, reports Dan Kelly.

Australia: This is consistent with our Australian research. Dick Davies in Sydney offers ideas oriented towards lifting productivity through self-employment.

Update 10 August 2011: Big government, Big business vs Little

A history lesson from 1978---why governments love big business. It seems nothing much has changed. 'Little' is inconvenient!

• The US Internal Revenue Service approach to 'misclassification' of contractors damages home-based small business entrepreneurs.
• In New Jersey the government is restricting new business opportunity to 'big' in the emerging areas of new casinos and legal medicinal marijuana.
• Banks do not understand small business.
• The Australian business regulators' fee system effectively has small business subsidising the regulation of big business.

Update July 2011: How tax authorities view self-employed people ... bad bunnies!

Across the globe tax authorities frequently refer to self-employed people as 'tax dodgers' and worse. They see us as evil, demonise and hate us. The problem is not 'us' but badly designed tax systems that are incapable of coping with social trends.

Earlier this year we described how the Canadian tax system discriminates against self-employed people. In the USA its 'misclassification' laws have similar discriminatory outcomes.

• One unfortunate US educational consultant messed up her income reporting and is now being double taxed on her one income.
• In the UK The Telegraph describes how the taxman must wake up to the modern world of freelancing rather than fighting it.
• And a Canadian independent contractor describes how improvements to the tax system in British Columbia have been a positive and need to be retained.

Update June 2011: Are self-employed people a threat to social order?

  Look at these facts: The UK self-employed number is 3 million and is set to double to 6 million. 75,000 UK ex-service personnel are to be encouraged into self-employment. The US self-employed are one-third of the workforce. This will grow to 40% within 9 years. 65% of South African youth aspire to be self-employed. Thailand and Sri Lanka have been creating easy finance for low-income, self-employed people as a key economic initiative.

Yet do self-employed people put you at risk? Are the perils of the 'contingent' workforce real?

Should this trend to self-employment be stopped? Are 'we' a risk to social order? Tui McKeown from Monash University is discussing these trends in a series of video broadcasts commissioned by Entity Solutions.

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