The Global Entrepreneurship Monitor

The Global Entrepreneurship Monitor is the largest ongoing study of entrepreneurial dynamics in the world. Initiated in 1999 as a partnership between London Business School and Babson College, the first study covered 10 countries; since then over 100 ‘National Teams’ from every corner of the globe have participated in the project, which continues to grow annually.

GEM explores the role of entrepreneurship in national economic growth, unveiling detailed national features and characteristics associated with entrepreneurial activity. The data collected is ‘harmonized’ by a central team of experts, guaranteeing its quality and facilitating cross-national comparisons.

The Social Progress Index

The Social Progress Index is the result of a two-year process guided by a stellar team of experts which includes, among the others, renowned economists Hernando de Soto and Michael Porter and the president of The Rockefeller Foundation Dr. Judith Rodin. The Index synthesizes a huge body of research to identify the dimensions of performance of societies and measure the social progress comprehensively and rigorously.

The Index has been structured around 12 components and 54 distinct indicators consolidated into three dimensions of Social Progress: Basic Human Needs, Foundations of Wellbeing, and Opportunity. The first dimension, Basic Human Needs, assesses how well a country provides for its people’s essential needs by measuring whether people have enough food and are receiving basic medical care, if they have access to safe drinking water, if they have access to adequate housing with basic utilities, and if they are safe and secure.

Ebola Situation Report

In general, there are improvements in Ebola case finding, burial practices and community engagement. Nevertheless, the decline in case incidence has stopped. The increase in number of cases in Guinea and widespread transmission of Ebola in Sierra Leone highlight a significant problem, which should be solved in order to lower case incidence to zero.

The first week of February 2015 ended with 144 new cases. Guinea reported a sharp increase in case incidence: there were 65 new confirmed cases compared to 39 cases reported the week before. Sierra Leone continues suffering from widespread transmission of Ebola virus: they reported 76 new confirmed cases. Liberia, on the other hand, reported a lower number of new confirmed cases compared to other African countries.

Youth Wellbeing

The Global Youth Wellbeing Index collects youth-related data to estimate the state of young people’s wellbeing throughout the world. The Index is designed to elevate youth needs and opportunities along with young people’s participation on national and global issues. It also provides public and private sector decision-makers with a clear vision of today’s youth needs. The Index takes into account 30 countries with both high and low income from five regions, which represent nearly 70% of the world’s youth.
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Marijuana Use and Cannabis Industry Statistics

Since Colorado legalized marijuana, cannabis industry stocks skyrocketed about 150% in the early 2014. Unfortunately, the boom was over by spring. Nevertheless, according to Bloomberg, legal marijuana market was the fastest growing industry in the US in 2014. As stated in the ArcView Market Research report, the US market for legal cannabis grew by 74% from 1.3 billion in 2013 to 2.7 billion in 2014 (check the pie chart).
According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, about 12% of US population (12 years old and older) have been smoking marijuana during the past year on a regular basis. For young adults (18-25 years old) this figure is even higher (32%). Most active weed fans live in District of Columbia, Rhode Island, Alaska, Vermont, Oregon, and Colorado.

The Big Mac Index Update

The Economist has recently updated its famous “Big Mac Index” based on McDonald’s Big Mac prices, collected throughout the world. Now the cheapest burgers in US Dollar terms can be bought in Ukraine: for $1.2 only. The most expensive ones are being sold in Switzerland, where you should pay $7.54 for one burger.

Big Mac Index shows, how much the national currency is “undervalued” or “overvalued” in relation to “fair” Big Mac price. In respond to the criticism that you would expect average burger prices to be cheaper in poor countries than in rich ones, it was adjusted for differences in countries' GDP per capita. E. g., in case of Russia, US$ Index of -57.75 means that current Russian Ruble/US$ market exchange rate is 57.75% lower than its Big Mac purchasing power parity level.

Apple's Record First Quarter Results

At the peak of the US corporate earnings reporting season, Apple Inc. reported record revenue for the 4th quarter of 2014 calendar year (or the 1st quarter of 2015 fiscal year, which began in the US in October 2014). Now Apple Inc. has market capitalization of about 640 billion dollars, which is larger than GDP of such countries as Sweden, Belgium, Finland, Norway, Venezuela, Algeria and many other (they are painted in shades of red on the map). The US and China are as large as 27-28 AAPL's market caps. India is about 11 "Apples". Japan is 7.5 and Germany is 5.7 only.