A foreign policy/business expert examines how entrepreneurs in developing countries are revolutionizing “business, investment, economics, politics, and society.”
Bayrasli, who was born and partly raised in Turkey before immigrating to the United States, grew up with a privileged perspective on two different worlds. Her home country was a place “where little seemed to work,” while her adopted one was a place where creativity and risk-taking could reap financial rewards and benefit global society. The author uses her uniquely bifurcated vision to explore how entrepreneurs in non-Western countries are overcoming obstacles generally unknown to Western entrepreneurs and to show how the next Steve Jobs will likely not be an American. She looks at the accomplishments of seven extraordinary individuals in seven developing countries in Asia, Africa, Eastern Europe, and Latin America who are involved in such diverse fields as technology, finance, health care, chemical manufacturing, and energy. Alike in their drive, courage, and inventiveness, these men and women have worked against such barriers as poor infrastructure, lack of capital, government fraud, and a weak rule of law by “building culture, leveraging networks, creating collaborative spaces [and] collaborating with the competition.” Some, like Pakistani network designer Monis Rahman, are using the Internet to create websites and search engines where “the anchor is ideas, not ideology, and the participants are innovators, not insurgents.” Others, like Russian chemical engineering executive Yana Yakovleva, have begun modeling entrepreneurial behaviors that encourage businesses to act as a check on a government struggling with corruption. Still others, like Chinese mobile phone mogul Lei Jun, are attempting to encourage a country mired in a tradition of authoritarianism and top-down political control to begin to embrace change and innovation. Throughout this eye-opening and informative book, Bayrasli offers fascinating insight into how hardship and marginalization may prove to be even greater “mothers of invention” in the 21st century than First World social and economic privilege.
A sharp, thought-provoking study.