Russian Entrepreneurship

The feature article in the Sunday Business section of The New York Times is very interesting! In a nutshell, being an entrepreneur in Russia is rife with danger. The totalitarian state is deeply suspicious of business activity that is not state sponsored, corruption is rampant, and competitors often go to local law enforcement who prosecute private businessmen with relative impunity. Putin has recently pardoned Khodorkovsky, the billionaire oligarch who was imprisoned on dubious charges for newly a decade.

The challenge for many counties who don’t have a firmly established rule of law is how to create a positive business climate that is fair and reasonable. Apparently Russia is a long way off even though Putin has now appointed an ombudsman to oversee entrepreneurial rights. The summary is that starting your own business in Russia is rarely worth the risk.

“At a time when many laid-off workers have to take a pay cut to land a new job, members of the millennial generation are jumping ship from their companies after just two years,” as stated in an article I just read in the Los Angeles Times. What does this mean?

As many of us already know, the business climate has changed a great deal since the recession of 2008. Americans, in general, are making less money and working more, finding it harder than ever to land compelling opportunities. I have friends and clients who got “spit out” of corporate America during the recession and have had a super-challenge getting back in. This is especially true if they are older. Not long ago, a cable TV channel interviewed me regarding my perspective on the best ways help discouraged job seekers in their forties and fifties. The essence of what I said boiled down to two things: creativity and perseverance.

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