Babson College’s leadership shared results of its global entrepreneurship study on Tuesday, as part of its GEM annual meeting held here that also included panel discussions and fireside chats by Miami leaders and entrepreneurs.

Significantly, the college, which opened a Miami campus in 2018, also signaled that the Miami entrepreneurial ecosystem will be a larger part of its research work. Babson and eMerge Americas are planning to release later this month a report regarding the Miami entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Here are some of the findings from the 2019–2020 Global Entrepreneurship Monitor Global Report, as provided by the Babson team.

  • More than half of the population in 36 of the 50 economies believes that they have the skills, knowledge, and experience to start their own business. In the United States, 65.5% of adults reported these capabilities perceptions, the highest level on this indicator since GEM started in 1999.
  • Both entrepreneurial activity and established business ownership in the United States have trended upward over the past 19 years.
  • A greater proportion of men than women typically engage in Total Entrepreneurial Activity overall, but the gender gap narrowed in the United States in 2019, where there are nine women entrepreneurs for every 10 men entrepreneurs. In 2018, the female to male entrepreneurship ratio was 7.5 to 10.
  • “Purpose-driven” entrepreneurship is taking hold, with more than seven out of 10 adults engaged in early-stage entrepreneurial activity in South Africa, India, Guatemala, and Panama responding that they are motivated to make a difference in the world.
  • Women starting a business are more likely to agree with the motivation of making a difference to the world. Women were also more likely to agree that earning a living because jobs are scarce is an important motivavation. Men starting a business are more likely to agree with the motives of building great wealth or high income, or of continuing a family tradition.
  • In 42 of the 50 economies, less than half of those who see good opportunities would be deterred by fear of failure.

“The positive attitudes about entrepreneurship that we see in the United States, and in many other parts of world, is an encouraging sign. It indicates that there is both a supply of potential entrepreneurs and those who may support their efforts. This is all reflective of the visibility, events, and leadership that contribute role models and inspiration for entrepreneurs,” said Donna Kelley, Frederic C. Hamilton Professor of Free Enterprise Studies at Babson College.

The Miami meeting also highlighted the recent GEM report on Women’s Entrepreneurship, issued in November 2019, which showcased areas where women entrepreneurs have made progress, how ecosystems influence and are influenced by women entrepreneurs, and where there are still challenges and opportunities. Babson founded Babson WIN Lab, an accelerator for female entrepreneurs, which launched its  Miami program in 2016.

GEM, co-founded by Babson along with London Business School, was launched in 1999. Since that time, GEM has cumulatively surveyed over 3 million adults in 114 economies around the world, making it the most extensive study of entrepreneurial activity. Find the full report here.

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Nancy Dahlberg
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