The topic of women and entrepreneurship has been getting a lot of attention of late. Vivek Wadhwa has been leading the charge from TechCrunch. Yesterday, I read an article by Penelope Trunk on TechCrunch that argues that you cannot be an entrepreneur and bear and raise children, have a successful relationship, and have a balanced life.
I generally avoid commenting on this issue, but Vivek has often egged me on to say things, at least in private discussions. Vivek is a good friend, and I believe that he is trying to do something meaningful to help move this debate forward.
So, today, I am going to say a few things on the topic. >>>
A recent study by the Lumina Foundation projects that the United States needs to add a million graduate students a year for the next 16 years if it wishes to remain a competitive nation. And the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that in the coming 10 years, jobs requiring higher education will be among the fastest growing jobs in the country. The need for higher education is also being supported by the Obama administration, which talks about three important education goals: first, to have every American receive at least one full year of a college education; second, to have the highest graduation rate among developed countries by 2020; and third, to encourage lifelong learning. Many Americans are in fact going back to school. Further, as 73% of the present student population is now “non-traditional,” according to the Department of Education, these students are juggling other responsibilities, suggesting that the demand for online education will continue to grow. >>>
A recent report by the NPD Group said that U.S. toy sales were retlatively flat over the year at $21.47 billion in 2009 compared to $21.65 billion in 2008, with overall unit sales falling 0.5% over the year. Toy makers launched promotional events during the holiday season, which helped keep the revenues flat despite a 4% fall in volumes sold. The educational toy maker, Leapfrog (NYSE:LF), also had latest quarter results that were better than the market’s expectations. >>>
A Reuters report released in October of last year indicates that online education grew 13% over the year, compared with growth of over 20% in earlier years. But while growth may have slowed, it hasn’t stopped. Nearly 25% students take at least some college courses online, compared with 10% in 2002. A significant two million students take all their courses online, and another two million take one or more online courses. >>>
You have read my last Forbes Column, An Underused Tool For Job Recovery. With unemployment soaring, I discussed how incubators can help people move into self-employment–and create jobs.
We’ve also discussed the topic of why incubators fail at length here. One of the issues that came up in the incubator discussion as a cause for failure is: What is the right business model for an incubator?
This is what I invite you to discuss in this thread.
[Please note that since this discussion took place here on the blog, we have launched the One Million by One Million global initiative, and for incubators looking for a viable business model, you are very welcome to reach out to me to become a reseller of our premium program priced at $1000 annual membership fee.]
While my previous post on entrepreneurship education, Bootstrapping at B-Schools is still generating hot discussion, I would like to pose another important discussion topic: Why do business incubators fail?
Those among my readers who have perspective and analysis to offer on the subject, please feel free to jump right in.
[Please note that since this discussion started here on the blog in 2010, we have launched the One Million by One Million global initiative, and for incubators looking for a viable business model, you are very welcome to reach out to us to become a partner of our program.]
The global toy market was around $78.09 billion in 2008. Sixty-five percent of the toy business comes from ten countries, with North America contributing 30% and Europe 29% of global sales. Asia’s contribution was 27% in 2008. The United States is the largest market for toys with sales of $21.7 billion. The toy market is expected to continue to grow as a result of strong demand in the emerging markets like Brazil, China, Russia, and India. Market research firm NPD expects the worldwide toy sales to be approximately $80.3 billion in 2012. The major players in the industry are Mattel, JAKKS Pacific, LeapFrog and Hasbro. >>>
Before going into analysis of LeapFrog’s (NYSE:LF) recent quarter, let’s take a look at some numbers that put the company’s situation into context: Worldwide toy sales reached $78 billion in 2008, registering a 0.8% decline over the year, according to a recently released NDP Group report. At constant exchange rates, sales would have increased 2.3% over the year. The United States is the biggest market for toys and contributes 30% of the global share. Within the country, sales fell 2% over the year to $21.7 billion, but board game sales grew 6% over the year to $794 million. The global toy market is expected to grow to $80.3 billion by the year 2012, with growth being driven by emerging markets. >>>
LeapFrog (NASDAQ:LF) continued to struggle with the recessionary pressures. The recently announced Q1 performance resulted in a loss while revenues nearly halved over the year. The worldwide edutainment market is still growing rapidly — according to InStat, it was $2.1 billion in 2006 and is expected to be $7.3 billion in 2011 — but as for so many markets, people are cutting spending on toys and other products for children. Perhaps My Pal Scout, the company’s new customizable talking plush puppy, will help boost revenues >>>