Posted tagged ‘General Entrepreneurship Monitor’

Being enterprising

September 10, 2009

Once a year the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) publishes country reports, setting out the rate at which new businesses are started, the number of serial entrepreneurs, the sense of confidence amongst entrepreneurs, and so forth. The most recent published report is for the year 2008. I might add as an aside that the report was co-written and published in DCU’s Business School.

The snapshot of entrepreneurship that the report presents is an interesting one, as it shows that Ireland performs rather well. It shows that 13.3 per cent of the Irish population have started their own business, a high figure by international standards. Furthermore, the survey revealed that even as the economic downturn was starting to kick in the rate of start-ups did not decline (though the confidence of the entrepreneurs did, a little).  Interestingly, the rate of start-ups in Ireland is significantly higher than across the EU, and only marginally lower than in the United States.

All of this is hugely important for Ireland as we try to find a way out of recession. What is perhaps missing, despite all the entrepreneurial activity, is a widely perceived culture of enterprise. Too often society’s role models are the professionals, or public servants, or people in safe jobs. We have not yet managed to see the enterprising risk-takers as the white knights of economic regeneration, and this is becoming increasingly important.

DCU has been toying with all this for a while, partly through the development of the Ryan Academy for Entrepreneurship, established with the support of the family of the late Tony Ryan. In due course I am hoping that we will make entrepreneurship an option available to all students. And I really hope that this will catch on elsewhere also. We find that we are a country with a major ability to be entrepreneurial; we need to make such activity perceived as heroic and noble. Our future is tied up with that.