Background of GEM
The Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) research program is an annual assessment of the national level of entrepreneurial activity. Started as a partnership between London Business School and Babson College, it was initiated in 1999 with 10 countries, expanded to 21 in the year 2000, with 29 countries in 2001 and 37 countries in 2002. GEM 2009 is set to conduct research in 56 countries. From 2010 The Australian Centre for Entrepreneurship Research has been appointed the Australian GEM partner.
The research program, based on a harmonized assessment of the level of national entrepreneurial activity for all participating countries, involves exploration of the role of entrepreneurship in national economic growth. Systematic differences continue, with few highly entrepreneurial countries reflecting low economic growth. There is a wealth of national features and characteristics associated with entrepreneurial activity.
Those new to the research program will find global comparisons, national reports, and special topic reports based on the annual data collection cycle. This material can be downloaded after a few simple items of personal background are provided. Over 120 scholars and researchers are actively participating in the GEM project; those with user names and passwords will have access to the interview schedules, data collection procedures, and other details required for systematic analysis.
In 2005 the National Teams, London Business School and Babson College as a consortium, established an independent, not-for-profit company called the Global Entrepreneurship Research Association (GERA) to oversee the operations of GEM. GERA now owns the GEM brand.
GEM is the largest survey-based study of entrepreneurship in the world. During the course of its history since 1999, over 60 countries have been involved with the research.
GEM Research has three main objectives:
- To measure differences in the level of early stage entrepreneurial activity between countries
- To uncover factors determining the levels of entrepreneurial activity
- To identify policies that may enhance the level of entrepreneurial activity
The GEM approach
Every year each national team is responsible for conducting a survey of at least 2000 people within its adult population. The Adult Population Survey is a survey of attitudes towards entrepreneurship in the general population but it also asks people whether or not they are engaged in start up activity or own or run a business.
The individual national team surveys are all collected in exactly the same way and at exactly the same time of year to ensure the quality of the data. The individual national team surveys are harmonised into one master dataset that allows users to investigate entrepreneurial activity at various stages of the entrepreneurial process, as well as to study a variety of factors characterizing both entrepreneurs and their businesses in each participating nation and across countries.
Overall, GEM’s unique ability to provide information on the entrepreneurial landscape of countries in a global context makes its data a necessary resource for any serious attempt to study and track entrepreneurial behaviour worldwide.
Developments in GEM Research
Clearly, entrepreneurship is a complex phenomenon and can be found in a variety of settings and situations. Thus, no single measurement, no matter how precise, can capture the entrepreneurial landscape of a country. As a result, GEM takes a holistic approach to the study of entrepreneurship and provides a comprehensive set of measurements aimed at describing several aspects of the entrepreneurial make-up of a country. In addition to early- Stage Entrepreneurial Activity, GEM identifies “established business owners.” Established business owners are entrepreneurs who have paid salaries and wages for more than 42 months. Their businesses have survived the most risky stage of the entrepreneurial process and much can be learned from comparing early-stage and established business owners.
GEM also documents entrepreneurial motivation. Thus, business owners are classified as being either necessity-driven or opportunity-driven. In addition, GEM documents the characteristics of all entrepreneurs with respect to product novelty, intensity of competition, employment and expansion plans, and use of technology. Finally, GEM looks at the socioeconomic characteristics of populations; as well as their subjective perceptions and expectations about the entrepreneurial environment.
Australia’s Role in GEM
The Australian Centre for Entrepreneurship Research has from 2010 has become the Australian partner in the GEM Consortium, responsible for both the data collection and reporting on Australian research.
ACE’s role in both GEM and CAUSEE, (Comprehensive Australian Study of Entrepreneurial Emergence), allows an ideal opportunity to produce extended statistical analysis providing a deeper and broader view of Australian entrepreneurial activity.
For more information or to further discuss these opportunities further please contact:
Executive Manager – External Relations Australian Centre for Entrepreneurship Research Queensland University of Technology (QUT) Phone: 07 3138 1971