Estonia may not show up on Americans’ radar too often. It is a tiny country in northeastern Europe, just next to Finland. It has the territory of the Netherlands, but 13 times less people—its 1.3 million inhabitants is comparable to Hawaii’s population. As a friend from India recently quipped, “What is there to govern?”

If you have a compelling start-up idea, the Chilean government will give you $40,000 to move there and build it. The Chilean embassy in your country will grant you a one-year visa within days. When you arrive in Chile, you’ll have free offices, fast Wi-Fi, unlimited coffee and croissants, and a community of intrepid friends. Not surprisingly, the Chilean program has received thousands of applications from entrepreneurs worldwide.

Recently Yazheng Huang warned that, because of dysfunction in the U.S. financial and political system, the United States is likely to lose its lead in technological innovation to China. Huang argues that state support for science in China is likely to exceed that in the United States soon, and this will eventually allow China to overtake the United States.

Medellin authorities announced Thursday that Colombia’s second largest city aspires to be the principal technological innovation city of Latin America by 2021 aspires to be the principal technological innovation city of Latin America by 2021.

In Johannesburg, South Africa, there are a small but growing number of shared office spaces in which sole proprietors and small businesses rent a desk and other services. For small business owners and start-up companies, this route not only provides cheaper overhead for workspace, but it also helps entrepreneurs network. The OPEN Collaborative Workspace is on the fourth floor of a building in an artsy, up and coming area just south of downtown Johannesburg, in a neighborhood called Maboneng.

Colombia’s Minister of Commerce Sergio Diaz-Granados welcomed a Singaporean mission of entrepreneurs to explore potential in innovation, sustainable development, IT, agribusiness and the hydrocarbon sectors. Yet most of Singapore’s business interest, according to the Ministry, falls within the services sector, like tech and BPOs.

Over the past decade, Slovakia has reformed its taxation, healthcare, pension, and social welfare systems, attracting large inflows of foreign investment into the automobile and electronic sectors, and becoming Central Europe’s first country to adopt the euro in January, 2009. But Europe’s economic woes have slowed growth. The Slovak government believes it must forge ahead finding new and innovative sources of growth - particularly on the Internet.

May 8, 2013