Entrepreneurs Assess Their Ecosystems

Jonathan Ortmans

entrepreneurs assess their ecosystems

If you are familiar with this blog, you know we often discuss the progress or obstacles in various entrepreneurship ecosystems. We have also discussed the paucity of data around the world to best inform decision makers keen to smooth the path for their aspiring entrepreneurs. Current thinking suggests that startup communities need to be led by entrepreneurs and today we take note of a new global survey of entrepreneurs. Released earlier this month, the Global Entrepreneurship Week Policy Survey, which was designed to shed light on key questions for policy discussions on high-growth entrepreneurship from the perspective of entrepreneurs themselves.

Conducted by the Monitor Group, the survey is intended to capture the opinions and perceptions of entrepreneurs around the world to help inform discussions during Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) events held in 130 countries each November. In the Survey’s first year, in partnership with GEW, the Monitor Group managed to capture the opinion of more than 3,000 high-impact entrepreneurs in 34 countries in an effort to place entrepreneurs at the center of discussions around how nations can build strong robust startup ecosystems.

The survey yielded some unexpected results. As it turns out, the entrepreneurship policy environment in emerging economies may not be a significant obstacle to starting and growing new firms after all – at least if you ask high-growth entrepreneurs in those countries. But should this really surprise us? For the pioneer entrepreneurs in these markets, government barriers are merely one other obstacle they have to overcome. The key for these economies lies in unleashing many more waves of entrepreneurs that can drive innovation, competition and wealth creation.

Here are some other interesting findings:
  • Of the countries surveyed, China, India, Kenya, New Zealand and the United States had the most positive overall opinions of the policies in place to promote their growth. In contrast, the ones with the most negative overall perceptions were Greece, Venezuela, Ukraine, Andorra and Poland.
  • Some countries that traditionally do well in some entrepreneurship studies, such as Chile and United Kingdom, do not appear to provide as positive an entrepreneurship environment as one would expect, with entrepreneurs in those countries indicating positive perceptions in only a few policy areas.
  • Chinese and Indian entrepreneurs are optimistic about their entrepreneurship-related policies, with entrepreneurs perceiving their countries’ policies consistently positive along most categories.
  • There is also a relatively positive perception that high-impact entrepreneurs from Sub-Saharan Africa have about their region's policies.
  • Although the United States ranked among the most positive policy environments for entrepreneurs, survey results identified several areas that could be improved, including those relating to government regulations as applied across industries and the way IPOs are handled.

    The survey assesses attitudes in 10 major categories: supply of capital/access to equity capital, financing and exit strategies, skills development, spin-offs, credits and incentives, government regulations, legitimacy, risk-taking and individual initiative, attitudes toward income taxes and mentors and support environment.

    There is definitely a growing appetite for opinion data. There is no “silver bullet” study that provides simple answers to policymakers’ questions. However, each new contribution adds another piece to the tool chest—helping fill the gap in measuring the impact of policies through the eyes of high-growth entrepreneurs.

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