GEW Policy Survey Turns Up Unexpected Results
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.
That is one of the overarching findings in a paper released last week by Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) following a survey of more than 3,000 high-impact entrepreneurs in 34 countries. The GEW Policy Survey, conducted by the Monitor Group, was intended to capture the opinions and perceptions of entrepreneurs to help inform discussions during GEW events being held in 130 countries from November 12-18, 2012.
“Since Global Entrepreneurship Week began in 2008, the understanding of entrepreneurship has evolved considerably among policymakers,” said Jonathan Ortmans, president of Global Entrepreneurship Week. “Many countries now see the importance of new firm formation to economic growth, poverty reduction and stability – and they are taking steps to address it.”
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.
“The relatively positive perception that high-impact entrepreneurs from Sub-Saharan Africa have about their region's policies is probably most surprising,” said Pedro Arboleda, partner at the Monitor Group. “One has traditionally had an image of that region as being an especially difficult place to start and run a business, but the survey results tell a different story.”
Kenyan entrepreneurs revealed positive attitudes, especially regarding policies related to university-level entrepreneurship skills development, the perceived legitimacy of entrepreneurship and the belief of a risk-taking mindset.
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 five countries surveyed with the most negative overall perceptions were Greece, Venezuela, Ukraine, Andorra and Poland.
Severe economic conditions in Greece have caused the number of startups and small firms to spiral downward since 2010 – creating a strong sense of dissatisfaction and urgency among its entrepreneurs. The most significantly negative policies were those related to the lack of adequate sources of capital, the level of income tax and the poor mentorship and support environment available to Greek entrepreneurs.