The Partnership for a New American Economy wants us to take a close look at how the U.S. may be falling behind in the recruitment of top talent from around the globe. The Partnership is a the coalition of big names in business and city government,business leaders, like Michael Bloomberg, Steven Ballmer, and Rupert Murdoch. And its recently released report is a scathing criticism of U.S. immigration policy. There is a lot in the report to discuss, but we found the Partnership's call to change policy to encourage more entrepreneurs to set up shop in the U.S. to be particularly provocative. According to the report, the U.S. provides relatively little incentive--or perhaps only disincentive, when put into a global context--for people with new business ideas to come to the U.S. From the report: Innovative programs are emerging to incentivize new groups of highly educated workers to leave their home countries and start companies that attract capital and boost domestic job creation. Chile, the United Kingdom, and Canada have all launched programs targeted at entrepreneurs and investors. Start- Up Chile, for example, offers im- migrants $40,000 in equity-free capital and a one-year visa to start a company on Chilean soil. So far, the program has drawn more than 1,600 applications from 70 countries, with applicants based in the US leading the way. More than 200 foreign start-ups are now up and running thanks to the program, raising $8 million in seed funding from firms in France, Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, and America.67 Recent developments in the UK show the real push many countries are making to attract the entrepreneurial immigrants so helpful in job creation. In 2008 the UK created a special entrepreneurship visa that allowed founders of companies with £200,000 of investment (about $320,000) to settle in the country for three years. In 2011, however, the UK decided to compete for such high-value immigrants by opening its doors to the most promising, non-EU entrepreneurs still further. Today, the government al- lows some high-potential entrepreneurs funded by venture capital firms, angel investors, or seed groups to come into the country with just £50,000 in funding (about $80,000). Start-up founders who create 10 jobs within three years - or generate £5 million in revenues (about $8 million) - are also put on a more rapid track to gain permanent residency. Such changes are having an impact. In the first year under the revised rules, Paul Barrett, the Economic Migration Policy Advisor for the UK's Immigration and Border Policy Directorate, says applications for the country's entrepreneurship visa program more than doubled. At the same time, the country also created a way for potential entrepreneurs to visit the country to explore starting a business: Such immigrants can now get special six-month prospective entrepreneur visas. "We didn't want to get left behind," Bar- rett said of the motivation be- hind recent initiatives "There's a lot of competition out there now for global talent." Like many countries focused on economic growth, high-talent immigrants - including entrepreneurs and investors - are deemed critical to the country's future success. As Barrett explains it, "Attracting high- skilled immigrants, investors and entrepreneurs - those who will truly grow our economy - that's where the thrust of our recent policies have been." Download the full report here .
Filed under: Britain, global business, startups, entrepreneurs, immigration, Rupert Murdoch, job creation, Visa, public policy, canada, Singapore, new zealand, Partnership for a New American Economy, Michael Bloomberg, public private partnerships, Steven Ballmer, foreign workers