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An Update on Entrepreneurship Data

Mark Marich

Readers of this blog know that we credit the greater availability of data on entrepreneurship for the healthy race to build the best start-up ecosystem that is going on around the globe. By revealing weak areas in a country’s entrepreneurship ecosystem and enabling cross-country comparisons, data can yield important implications for economic and regulatory policy.

Data sources vary in their methodology for collecting data points. Definitions of “new business”, parameters for “size”, and even precise definitions of what an “entrepreneurial venture” is vary across data collections. It can be frustrating, but we are fortunate to be able to crosscheck data these days.

Here is one more tool in your entrepreneurship data chest. Recently, Babson College, together partner universities in Chile and Malaysia, released the 14th annual report of the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM). In our opinion, the greatest advantages of GEM data is a) its continuity as it is an ongoing study of entrepreneurship, and b) its insights into the availability of cultural capital for entrepreneurship (it measures, for example, aspirations, and attitudes of individuals and societies toward the entrepreneurial career path). Here are some interesting findings from this new report:

  • Economies in Sub-Saharan Africa exhibited the lowest levels of fear of failure, with only 24% of all respondents indicating that fear of failure would prevent them from starting a business. Greece (61%) and Italy (58%) showed the highest levels on this measure.
  • In the Asia Pacific/SouthAsia region, an estimated 30% of the population saw opportunities for entrepreneurship but only 17% intended to start a business in the next three years.
  • GEM findings have consistently reported greater involvement in entrepreneurship among men than women in most economies.
  • The Latin America/Caribbean region reported twice as many entrepreneurs with improvement–driven opportunity motives than those with necessity motivations.

For more updates on data sources, stay tuned. Also a good way to connect with new data developments is Data Maven, which collects information from a community seeking to improve entrepreneurship and innovation measurement.

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