“Entrepreneurism is such an important catalyst for the global economy, and it was evident listening to these business leaders tell their stories. These are all web-enabled businesses that were founded during the dot com boom and grew up in the shadow of the bust. They more than survived; they thrived. With technology as their cornerstone, they invented new models and in some cases entirely new industries.
For my part, I spent some time talking about my own path, and how I’ve seen the power of an idea change the world. I started Dell in my dorm room when I was a 19-year old pre-med student at the University of Texas. We pioneered a business model that drastically drove down the price and increased the power and effectiveness of the PC and later, the server-accelerating the adoption of technology for people around the globe.
Thirty years later, the societal shift is remarkable. From 1985 to 2005 – the exact period of time that the PC/server model for technology spread worldwide-the number of people living in poverty was cut in half. Why? Because more power was available to more people than ever before.
A PC in the hands of a seamstress in South Africa became a thriving small business. A couple of workstations and a server enabled a manufacturer in Argentina to globalize. Affordable, accessible technology opened doors to one of the world’s most powerful forces for prosperity – entrepreneurs.
Today, studies show that startups account for about 70 percent of job creation globally; and in some emerging markets the number is as much as 91 percent. Furthermore, startups that use technology more effectively create on average twice as many jobs and are more productive and profitable than companies that don’t. The Internet alone accounts for about 20 percent of the GDP in developed countries. That’s amazing when you consider e-commerce began in earnest only about 15 years ago.”