From the Other Side of the World: Extraordinary Entrepreneurs, Unlikely Places

In This Review

From the Other Side of the World: Extraordinary Entrepreneurs, Unlikely Places
By Elmira Bayrasli
PublicAffairs, 2015
320 pp.
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The core of this interesting book is a set of profiles of seven successful and innovative entrepreneurs, each one hailing from a different major country with an emerging economy. The United States looms large in their stories: some of them had experience studying or working in the United States, others drew on U.S. venture capital, and most were inspired by successful American start-ups. Based on detailed interviews with the entrepreneurs and their colleagues, Bayrasli reveals significant institutional obstacles that stand in the way of starting and sustaining new businesses in emerging markets, even in countries that officially aspire to modernization, growth, and the creation of nonagricultural employment: politically supported barriers to entry, a shortage of skilled workers, licensing requirements that facilitate bribery—and, for those who don’t play along with the unwritten rules, outright extortion and unjustified threats of criminal indictment. But the stories in this book demonstrate that talent and perseverance can overcome even those formidable roadblocks. Reducing the barriers might unleash astounding economic performance.

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