High Impact: How IT Is Empowering the Next Generation of Entrepreneurs

Out of every economic downturn, entrepreneurs have emerged to create new companies and pioneer new business models that reinvent the global economy. While policy makers rightly focus on restoring economic confidence and avoiding futurecrashes, creative business leaders are looking ahead, imagininghe next great projects, products and platforms. Starting abusiness is easier than it has ever been in history, thanks to new technologies. Start-up costs are lower, addressable markets are bigger, talent is easier to find and coordinate, and the tools to innovate are more readily available. The next generation of innovators will reach into a vastly expanded marketplace, with a rapidly growing global middle class hungry for goods and services that improve their lives. A new generation of high-growth companies—socalled “gazelles”—will rise to meet this opportunity, creating new jobs, powering economic growth and transforming our world. For entrepreneurs, investors and policy makers, the key question is: “How best to nurture these gazelles?”

Expert analyses have variously suggested that the critical companies are exclusively small businesses, young start-ups and/or venture-backed enterprises. Based on our experience as chief executive officers who work with the most inventive and energetic businesses around the world, it is clear to us that the next high-growth gazelles will be those businesses best able to use technology … to pioneer new management techniques, capitalize on new production methods, exploit new distribution channels and maximize new organizational structures. Those who master the new platforms will thrive. This report highlights the crucial ways information technology, or IT, helps companies start, grow, transform and compete. We conclude with recommendations for policy makers eager to enable such growth.

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