Entrepreneurs in EU countries are most internationalized but less optimistic than others in terms of entrepreneurial opportunities. Sweden is, however, in second place in terms of how entrepreneurs perceive business opportunities. In addition, Sweden is the sixth most globalized country in the EU, 27 percent of the entrepreneurs have at least 25 percent of their customers abroad. This is according to the annual report of the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, GEM.
The GEM report shows that African entrepreneurs believe they have the best opportunities and skills to act entrepreneurially combined with the lowest fear of failure.
Entrepreneurs in the EU are less optimistic and are at their lowest levels globally regarding how they perceive their business opportunities. Greece is at 19.9 percent, Croatia 18.4 percent, Slovenia 17.2 percent, Spain 22.6 percent and Portugal 22.9 percent in the proportion of adults who experience a good opportunity to start a business in the area where they live. The equivalent figure for Sweden is 70.1 percent, the second highest among all participating countries.
To measure the degree of internationalization, GEM has looked at the percentage of customers who live outside of an entrepreneur’s home country. Almost 70 percent of the entrepreneurs in Africa, excluding South Africa, don’t have a single customer outside of their respective countries. The highest levels of internationalization (at least 25 percent of the customers abroad) were found in EU economies: Luxembourg 42 percent, Croatia 38 percent and Belgium at 33 percent. Sweden ranks sixth in the EU with 27 percent.
– Some countries stand out with high levels of international ambitions. These countries are often characterized by small domestic markets, high innovative capacity and relatively advanced production. Sweden is a small, export-dependent country that fit into this category, says Maria Adenfelt, Research Director at Swedish Entrepreneurship Forum.
About the survey: More than 200 000 people and approximately 3 900 national experts on entrepreneurship attended the 16th Global Entrepreneurship Monitor’s annual meeting in Monterrey, Mexico where the report was presented. The study was conducted in 73 countries, representing 72 percent of the world’s population and 90 percent of global GDP.
For interviews and comments:
Maria Adenfelt, Research Director Swedish Entrepreneurship Forum and Associate Professor University of Uppsala, 076-768 84 05.
Pontus Braunerhjelm, Research Director Swedish Entrepreneurship Forum and Professor KTH, 072-965 55 69.