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Inclusive Growth for Entrepreneurs

Friday, February 28, 2014 - 8:45am - 2:45pm
Columbia University Morningside Campus Italian Academy

This conference will address one of the great puzzles in moving people from poverty: why are there entrepreneurs and small businesses everywhere, and yet small enterprises so rarely scale and grow. When we walk down a main street in Mumbai or in Harlem, we see an abundance of shops and small business, but many do not scale.

Many reasons for this deficit have been given: micro entrepreneurs are impatient and cant save, they are more risk averse, scarcity of resources leads to cognitive deficits, banks dont lend to small entrepreneurs. This lack of consensus does not help policy makers and financial institutions address the severe consequences of the barriers to scaling. This growth handicap for small entrepreneurs is also found in urban and lower income communities in wealthier countries. What are the challenges for a more inclusive financial system for entrepreneurs? What insights can be drawn from behavioral economics and the experience of financial institutions and engaged entrepreneurs to overcome barriers to growth?

Conference Fees: $150 Professionals; $100 Columbia Business School Alumni; $50 Faculty and Current Students (valid ID must be shown); and $50 University Staff.