I have lots of time for Craig Simmons. So many great quotes in this article to choose from! http://ow.ly/sNwnu
The only argument I would throw up against his position (that the relative strength of IB is stifling ingenuity in other industries), is that “International Business” in his narrative is defined too narrowly. Can not local entrepreneurs seek opportunities internationally? If so, are they in local business or ‘international business’?
Notwithstanding the fact that I am a local business person (all of my business is conducted locally, for local dollars), truly local businesses like mine do not really add to the economy. It creates churn and gives people work, but if we didn’t have US$ coming into the economy, we would have no method to pay for the vast amount of goods we need on a daily basis to live (groceries, construction materials, TV’s, cars, medicine, etc.). What an economy like ours needs is foreign cash inflows, which is why both tourism and IB have been ‘pillars’ for us.
But back to the point – why is ‘international business’ defined so narrowly for most people?
For me, any business whose income is sourced outside of Bermuda, is an ‘international business’. I know Bermudians who are owners of companies in fund administration, IT consulting, as well as the traditional insurance and finance types. If a Bermudian entrepreneur builds an app for sale is he in international business? Of course he is. Brian Duperreault is a local entrepreneur in ‘IB’. And having his business based in Bermuda is a huge benefit to the island if the proceeds from that business are paying staff here, living here, etc., or otherwise injecting that US$ back into the local economy.
Creating an environment for ‘international business’ shouldn’t negate or detract from opportunities for local entrepreneurs to be successful, quite the opposite. Local entrepreneurs need to instead refocus their efforts ‘internationally’ instead of locally. The global marketplace is smaller than ever and the possibilities are endless.
Granted, the global market place has meant that capital can move in a flash, but that is the same risk anywhere else.