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Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) 2012

13 Jun 2013

The Global Entrepreneurship Monitor Report 2012 on Switzerland illustrates national differences in entrepreneurial attitudes, activity, and aspirations between economies, revealing the factors that determine the nature and level of national entrepreneurial activity, and identifying policy implications for enhancing entrepreneurship in Switzerland. The GEM data not only complement already existing indicators of competitiveness and innovation, but also allow – as in 2011 – the creation of a new aggregate index, the Global Entrepreneurship and Development Index (GEDI). In the 2012 census, perceived opportunities to start a business were lower in Switzerland than in previous years. Nonetheless, Switzerland ranks above the average of innovation-based countries. What is particularly noticeable is the fact that Fear of Failure has clearly lessened in the past few years, and in 2012 was as low as in the USA. Switzerland has even joined the USA in leading all innovation- based economies.

Entrepreneurial Profile

Switzerland shows no great potential with regard to creating new jobs via young companies (Total Entrepreneurial Activity, TEA), at least in the short term. This lack of potential is also noticeable in other economies of the comparison group, with the exception of the USA. On the other hand, a clear orientation on (combined product-market) innovation and orientation to international markets is clear.

In these areas, Switzerland ranks 8th and 6th respectively, which, in the long term, reaps positive results: it is known that product innovation and a company`s orientation to international markets are closely related to an increase in global demand. This, in turn, creates new jobs and economic growth. With the exception of 2010, the entrepreneurial activity rate (TEA) fluctuated between six and eight percent. Although the quantitative aspect of entrepreneurial activity (TEA) is of great interest to policy makers, more attention should be paid to its quality (low vs high job expectations) and to the entrepreneurial behaviour of employees. Swiss parameters related to entrepreneurial employee activity are below average compared with other innovation-driven economies.

In contrast, Switzerland enjoys one of the best positions in terms of women`s entrepreneurial activity rates (TEA) (a practically equal woman-to-man ratio). In 2012 Switzerland even ranked first place of all innovationbased economies. The age structure of entrepreneurial activity in Switzerland is noteworthy. Entrepreneurial activity among the young in Switzerland (18-24) is the lowest of all comparable countries, whereas the 35-44 age group shows the highest entrenpreneurial activity. Data collected for the first time on the entrepreneurial behaviour of migrants is also of interest. Entrepreneurial activity for both first and the second generation migrants is significantly higher than the Swiss average.

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Rico Baldegger

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+41 26 429 63 78

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