66% of adults view entrepreneurship as a good career choice

The 2015 Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) Global Report, unveiled at the GEM Annual Meeting in Boston, Massachusetts, USA, finds that globally, entrepreneurship is perceived as ‘high-status’ and that two-thirds of adults worldwide think entrepreneurship is a good career choice. 

shutterstock_232328446Sixty-six percent of adults see entrepreneurship as a good career choice, and more than half of the working-age population feel they have the ability to start a business.

This is according to the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) 2015 Global Report, released with sponsors Babson College, Universidad Del Desarrollo, Universiti Tun Abdul Razak, Tecnológico de Monterrey, and the London Business School.

In its 17th consecutive year, the report, which covers 60 economies, continues to serve as the largest single study of its kind.

According to the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) 2015 Global Report: 

The majority of entrepreneurs worldwide are fueled by opportunity rather than necessity. They make up 78% of those in innovation-driven economies, and 69% in factor and efficiency-driven economies.

“It is often a misperception that most entrepreneurs in less-developed economies are necessity-motivated,” said Babson College Professor and report lead author Donna Kelley. “The reality is that entrepreneurial opportunities of all types exist in every part of the world, and there are ambitious entrepreneurs everywhere with the aspirations to pursue them.”

Seventy percent of adults hold entrepreneurs to a ‘high status’ in their respective societies. Twenty-one percent of adults across 60 economies intend to start a business in the next three years.

The proportion of entrepreneurs with medium to high job creation expectations are similar across all development levels, with about one in five entrepreneurs stating that they will employ six or more people.

Entrepreneurs in the United States show higher levels on this measure, with 32% projecting this employment potential. Entrepreneurial Employee Activity (EEA) is highest in the innovation-driven economies, with Norway and Australia reporting the highest EEA rates, at 8 per cent or more of their adult populations.

Across all economies, the highest entrepreneurship participation rates are found among 25-35 and 35-44 year-olds – people in their early and mid-careers.

Nearly half or more of the entrepreneurs in the factor and efficiency-driven economies operate wholesale or retail businesses, while nearly half of the entrepreneurs in the innovation-driven group started businesses in information and communications, and financial, professional, health, education and other services industries.

“Understanding what inhibits and what enhances entrepreneurship in various contexts has never been more important, as many economies are struggling – especially those in developing countries, and unemployment is increasing,” said GEM executive director and report author Mike Herrington. “The Global Entrepreneurship Monitor allows us to gain additional perspective on entrepreneurial activity, and to look at best practices that are helping to promote small and medium enterprise development.”

Factor-driven economies show the highest rate of average female total early-stage entrepreneurial activity (TEA) at 20%. These economies also demonstrate the highest rate relative to men, which translates to just about nine women entrepreneurs for every 10 men entrepreneurs.

“The entrepreneurial capacity of an economy depends on the co-existence of different types of entrepreneurial behavior, which helps provide a transition from unemployed to self-employed, and then from self-employed, to striving to create jobs, innovate, and operate globally,” said J.J. Strossmayer University of Osijek Professor and report author Slavica Singer. “With the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, we seek to spread this awareness to the entrepreneurial policy makers and regulators who can contribute to the design of more supportive entrepreneurship ecosystems worldwide.” 

About the report

This report represents the 17th year GEM has tracked rates of entrepreneurship worldwide. The report surveyed entrepreneurs across multiple phases, and assessed their characteristics, motivations, and ambitions, as well as the attitudes societies have toward such activity.

It covers results based on 60 economies that completed the Adult Population Survey (APS), and 62 economies that completed the National Expert Survey (NES).

The aim of this report is to inform academics, educators, policy-makers, and practitioners about the multi-dimensional nature of entrepreneurship around the world, advancing knowledge and guiding decisions that can lead to the conditions that allow entrepreneurship to thrive.

The 2015 GEM Global Report is authored by Babson College Professor and Frederic C. Hamilton Chair of Free Enterprise, Donna Kelley; J.J. Strossmayer University of Osijek Professor and UNESCO Chair in Entrepreneurship, Slavica Singer; and University of Cape Town Professor and Global Entrepreneurship Monitor Executive Director, Mike Herrington.