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Advanced Economies Losing Ground in Entrepreneurship

Geneva, Switzerland – WEBWIRE
  • New report compares 44 economies in terms of their entrepreneurial activity, ambition and innovation
  • Most advanced economies – including the US, the UK, Germany and Switzerland – are missing out on the full potential benefits of entrepreneurship, including accelerated growth and prosperity
  • Colombia and Chile leverage full potential of entrepreneurship for growth and innovation
  • Download the Leveraging Entrepreneurial Ambition and Innovation report here

Many advanced economies are missing out on the full benefits of entrepreneurship owing to insufficient ambition, innovation, or number of entrepreneurs, according to a report launched today by the World Economic Forum. Chile and Colombia score best.

The Leveraging Entrepreneurial Ambition and Innovation report provides analysis and recommendations for policy-makers to maximize the impact of entrepreneurs in their economies, comparing countries on key variables of entrepreneurship.                                                          

“Entrepreneurship is not just about the number of entrepreneurs available. The amount of innovation and ambition matter as much,” said Michael Drexler, Head of Investors Industries at the World Economic Forum. “Building on this insight, a paradox arose from our research: the most advanced economies typically have less early-stage entrepreneurial activity, and many of them lack in either ambitious or innovative entrepreneurship, too. That means they miss out on much of the positive impact entrepreneurs can have on their economy. 

Only Colombia and Chile perform highly across all the dimensions of entrepreneurship examined in the report. This indicates their entrepreneurs are placed to create growth, jobs and innovative offerings. All other countries miss out on at least one variable. 

  • Dynamic economies such as the United States, Israel and Ireland have a large share of highly ambitious entrepreneurs who anticipate fast growth, but they show only average or lower rates of early-stage entrepreneurial activity.
  • A large number of Latin American countries, including Brazil, Ecuador, Mexico, and Peru have high rates of early-stage entrepreneurial activity, but only a small portion of their entrepreneurs are ambitious or innovative.
  • Most highly competitive European economies – including Germany and Switzerland, Sweden, Finland and Norway as well as Greece, Italy, Portugal and Spain – don’t have many entrepreneurs, and even fewer ambitious and innovative ones.

To advance growth and innovation, key stakeholders need to reframe the debate on entrepreneurship, says Donna Kelley, Professor of Entrepreneurship at Babson College, and co-author of the report for the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor: “There is a need to focus entrepreneurship policies and initiatives on those entrepreneurs who advance the greatest change in society.”

Leveraging Entrepreneurial Ambition and Innovation proposes key recommendations for how entrepreneurship policy can improve: This includes calling on policy-makers to situate policy within the entrepreneurial context of their economy; to be specific about the objectives for entrepreneurship policy; and to differentiate appropriately between levers affecting different kinds of entrepreneurs.

For the first time, Leveraging Entrepreneurial Ambition and Innovation combines two unique data sets: the World Economic Forum Global Competitiveness data is the largest and most comprehensive assessment of the business environment of 144 economies globally; the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor’s Adult Population Survey is the largest and most comprehensive assessment of entrepreneurial activity across 70 economies globally. The insights from the analysis of 44 of those economies in this report offer a new perspective on the relationship between entrepreneurial activity and entrepreneurship. Endeavor provided the interviews for the report.

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