High levels of entrepreneurial optimism, ambition and innovation are vital to advancing economies according to The Global Entrepreneurship Monitor 2014 Global Report, which also found that entrepreneurship worldwide has recovered from The Great Recession. African economies showed the highest ability to perceive and pursue entrepreneurial opportunities with little fear of failure. In contrast, European Union nations are less optimistic, see fewer opportunities and are more uncertain about their skills in acting entrepreneurially. “In the Caribbean our findings have consistently showed that while our people are confident in their ability to take advantage of opportunities, they are not overwhelmingly choosing to pursue their entrepreneurial ideas,” said Marjorie Wharton, GEM Barbados Team and Director – Strategic Business Services Unit at the Cave Hill School of Business.
While presenting at the GEM Annual Meeting, Rodrigo Varela, coordinator of the GEM Caribbean Team, highlighted the leakages in the entrepreneurial pipeline. Varela explained that at each stage of the pipeline, from potential entrepreneur to established business, the numbers reflected steady declines. Therefore, the numbers of established businesses are a small percentage compared to the number of persons who identify good opportunities for businesses in the country.
As Ms Wharton explained, "while this cannot be completely eliminated, it must be investigated to ensure that the environment is not being unfavorable for the growth of new businesses." Research shows that established businesses are often responsible for generating a large percentage of the employment in a country. In addition, these businesses are often responsible for generating the sustainable growth in the economy. Wharton continued "If we cannot create an environment with easier access to new technology, funding sources and more accommodating business support we run the risk of losing smaller businesses that might have great future potential."
The report, unveiled at the GEM Annual Meeting in Monterrey, Mexico, is the 16th annual survey of entrepreneurship worldwide and is the largest single study of its kind. In 2014, more than 200,000 individuals were surveyed and 3,936 national experts on entrepreneurship participated in the GEM study across 73 economies − collectively representing 72.4 percent of the world’s population and 90 percent of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The report analyzes entrepreneurs from all global regions of the world and a broad range of economic development levels.