India has plenty of aspiring entrepreneurs but too many hurdles and roadblocks to starting small businesses. Old firms crowd out new ventures while financial regulators and lack of start-up capital make launching a new company a serious challenge. Over the past few years, few graduates of India’s top business schools are going into business for themselves: “Of the 314 graduates from its [the Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad] flagship programme, only seven started a business. An amazing 187 joined the gravy train and got jobs in consulting or finance—the kind of statistic common in rich countries which is now taken as a symptom of their decline. One bigwig at a large Indian firm says he implores his younger relatives: ‘Make something. Don’t just look at numbers and criticise things.’ But he admits defeat. They are all becoming spreadsheet wizards at banks.”Tunisia leads the way in the Middle East again. Elections last weekend seem to have been free, fair and transparent. 14,000 domestic and international observers oversaw Tunisia’s “most free vote in its history”. A new government and constitution are on the horizon. The most popular party – Ennahdha – is moderately Islamist, and points to Turkey’s AKP party as a model.Deserters from Syria’s army are striking back at regime forces.Will potable water become the next big natural resource? China is betting that it will — pumping money into its desalinization industry at a substantial loss.
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