A Positive and Modern View of Entrepreneurship


Mike Herrington

About Mike Herrington

Mike Herrington is Executive Director of the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) which is part of the Global Entrepreneurship Research Association (GERA), University of Cape Town. He was involved with a number of companies as General Manager in southern Africa and New Zealand.In 2001, he joined the Graduate School of Business School and founded the Centre for Innovation & Entrepreneurship. Mike obtained an MBA from Cape Town University and a PhD from London. In 2014 he was involved in teaching MBA students specialising in New Venture Planning and Entrepreneurship as well as teaching in Customised Academic Learning and Executive Education Programmes.

Across 62 economies around the world, more than two-thirds of the adult population believe that entrepreneurs are well-regarded and enjoy high status within their societies. At the same time, Europe has the lowest belief in entrepreneurship as a good career choice — 58 per cent. Positive perceptions about entrepreneurship as a career choice range from 40 percent among the Finns and Swiss, to 78 per cent for the Netherlands.

In the ten researched countries across emerging Europe — Bulgaria, Croatia, Estonia, Georgia, Hungary, Latvia, Macedonia, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia — positive perceptions about entrepreneurship as a good career choice is close to the European average. That opinion is shared by 71.4 per cent of Georgians, 64.8 per cent of Macedonians, 62.2 per cent of Croats and 61.9 per cent of Poles. The research also shows that entrepreneurs enjoy high status in Georgia, Hungary and Slovenia.

Interestingly, Georgia tops both categories: entrepreneurs enjoy a high status and entrepreneurship is seen as a good career choice. One possible explanation for this is that over 71 per cent of adults believe that entrepreneurship is a good career choice and almost 80 per cent attribute high status to entrepreneurship. In addition, their fear of failure is relatively low compared to other similar countries

Currently, the central indicator of the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor is the total, early-stage entrepreneurial activity (TEA) rate, which measures the percentage of the adult population (aged 18 to 64 years) that are in the process of, or who have just started, a business. Less than 40 percent of Europeans see any entrepreneurial opportunities and less than half of them believe they have the skills to pursue them.

Self-perceptions related to entrepreneurship are also interesting. Every other Estonian sees opportunities to start a business. Highly perceived opportunities are also seen in Poland, Macedonia, Latvia and Hungary (more than 30 per cent). Which nationality considers they are most capable of running a business? 60 per cent of Poles, 54.5 per cent of Macedonians and 50 per cent of Croats.

Bulgarians seem to be least self-confident but it is the Poles, Hungarians and Estonians who are most undeterred by the fear of failure. Surprisingly enough, every fifth Pole expresses entrepreneurial intentions and Macedonians are even more decisive — 24.9 per cent of them want to set up a firm, whereas only eight per cent of Slovaks would do the same. Entrepreneurial intentions are relatively low among them, which could be attributed to a lack of accessible finance, a high regulatory environment and a relative lack of access to open markets.

Europe reports the lowest involvement of women in early-stage entrepreneurial activity at just six percent. The Old Continent also demonstrates the lowest gender parity—women in this region are only half as likely to be engaged in TEA as their male counterparts. This is despite the fact that, regionally, women from Europe are more likely to start businesses out of necessity as compared to men.

Amongst the ten emerging Europe countries included in the research, Bulgaria has the highest female/male TEA ratio of 0.80, followed by Poland and Slovakia. Bulgaria also has the highest female/male opportunity ratio of 1.05, which means that women are given more opportunities to start a business then men. The situation is similar in Estonia (1.02) and the lowest ratio is in Macedonia (0.40).

What should governments do to increase entrepreneurship? The answer differs depending on the country, as each country is different. However, the most common factors that influence entrepreneurial behaviour are the high costs of doing business and onerous regulatory conditions attributed to “red tape”. Labour laws in many countries hinder entrepreneurial activity because of labour unions, restrictive hiring and firing procedures. There is a lack of ready access to finance caused by a combination of banks being reluctant to lend money and the inability of entrepreneurs to put together a workable and viable business plan.


The views expressed in this opinion editorial are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Emerging Europe’s editorial policy.


Czech Own Currency Insures Against Euro Losses

Euro Czech republic emerging europe

Adam Smith’s Warning for Poland

Macedonia’s Controversial Coalition Government

SKOPJE MACEDONIA emerging europe

The Peculiar Growth of Poland

KRAKOW POLAND - JUNE 2017: logo of Galeria Krakowska shopping center.

Romania Surviving the Waves of Recent Political Tsunamis in Europe

Efficient Innovation: Entrepreneurship in Bulgaria

Beautiful photos of modern buildings under blue sky. Europe, Bulgaria, Sofia.

The Netherlands’ Objection to the Ukraine-EU Association Agreement could be Costly to Europe

Next Christmas in Belgrade? The EU’s Move into the Western Balkans

Belgrade, Serbia, July 22, 2017.Belgrade cityscape at sunset with national assembly, aerial view

Defending EU Values in Poland and Hungary

Eu hungary poland

Falling into Old Ways in 2017? Ukraine’s Struggle for Functioning Economic Institutions

Hungary’s Nationalist Assault on Free Enquiry

victor orban ceu

Old Fashioned Skulduggery Overshadows the Elections in Moldova

Will the New Five-day Visa-free Regime Encourage More Visitors to Belarus?

Why the Baltic States Should Reject the Nanny State

man smoking a cigarette Cigarette smoking Cigarette with smoke

The Voice of European Business Must Be Heard Loud and Clear by Brexit Negotiators

Breaking With Imitations of the Past

Can Armenia Keep a Foot in Both Camps?

European union armenia russia emerging europe

Poland’s Capital Saturation Lower Than the Czech Republic’s

deloitte fdi poland

Is the Level of Foreign Ownership a Problem in Emerging Europe?

Flags of European countries flying from their capital cities. Viewed from the South.

Poland: Is it Ready, and is it Time to Adopt the Euro?

China: A Giant That Is Hard to Crack

Political Tensions Rise As Croatia Allegedly Breaks the Dublin III Refugee Regulation

croatia migrants

Budapest and Warsaw: Marriage of Convenience or Union of Values?

Let’s Stop Wasting Time Redefining our Place in Europe

Poland Needs to Cling to the Eurozone

zloty euro emerging europe

Poland’s Confusing GDP Growth

After Its Significant Rise the Georgian Economy May Now Fall

Panorama of Tbilisi, Georgia in sunset rays. Vivid, saturated, splittoned image.

Outsourcing in Germany: Stop Talking at and Start Talking to

Albania’s Election Apathy

tirana albania

Fiscal Policy Predictability in CEE — It’s Time for Change

Azerbaijan: The Rich Get Richer and the Poor Get Nothing


Poland’s Unicorn, Slovakia’s Flying Car and the Future of Europe

Brexit: Let’s Learn the Lesson and Hope a Better Europe Will Arise

CEE — Do We Need a Launch Pad For Our On-Site Tech Intelligence in the Silicon Valley

Polish Tax Laws — Fighting a Winning Battle Against Tax Evaders

Examining How a Strong Swiss Franc Could Single-Handedly Topple Poland’s Economy

Euroscepticism in Serbia: An Image Problem?

LGBT in CEE — A New Acceptance Is Being Born From Migration

Serbia’s New PM Is Cut From a Familiar Cloth

Serbian flag emerging europe

When Neutrality Isn’t an Option

President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin

Emerging Europe Back on Track to Convergence


International Women’s Day — Let’s Take Action And Then Celebrate

What Went Wrong in Ukraine – And When?

CEE-Benefits and Disadvantages of Joining the Eurozone

forint zloty euro

The EU’s Choice: Fundamental Reform Or Disintegration

After 25 Years of Restructuring, the Romanian Power Sector Is at a Crossroad

Why Was Zapad-2017 So Important?

russian tank belarus zapad

Ukraine’s Reputation for Cheap Labour May Not Ring True in the Long-term

E-lifestyle and Cyber Security: Some Views From Estonia

Cyber Security Protection Firewall Interface Concept

The Competitive Edge in Central and Eastern Europe

SOFIA BULGARIA - MAY 5: View of the Ivan Vazov National Theatre in Sofia on May 5 2016. Sofia is the largest city and capital of Bulgaria.

Ex-Transition Economies’ FDI Recovery

dollar euro fdi

CEE: Innovate or Get Eaten


We, the Post-Communist Generation, Have the Skills to Rid of the Past And Create Our Own Future

The Global Outsourcing Industry — the Rise of the Phoenix

EU-CEE Is Still Growing at a Healthy Rate

Prague emerging europe

Measuring Growth of Societies with GDP Alone Shows an Incomplete Picture

Poland Must Preserve Wilson Spirit

Is the CEE Region About to Steal the Outsourcing Crown From India?

Amazing view on the Taj Mahal in sunset light with reflection in water. The Taj Mahal is an ivory-white marble mausoleum on the south bank of the Yamuna river. Agra Uttar Pradesh India.

The EU’s Benign Neglect Of Eastern Europe

How Will Poland Approach the Brexit Negotiations?

China and Central Europe: Don’t Believe the Hype


Will Poland Leave the European Union?


Poland’s Drift Away From Democracy

Romania Can Still Provide Stability Within the EU

BUCHAREST, ROMANIA - 05 February 2017: More than 240,000 protesters in Victory Square (Piata Victoriei). "Torches" moment. At 09:00PM Romanian protesters shone torches on their phones.

Bulgaria Needs a Reform-Oriented Government to Take Full Advantage of its EU Membership

bulgaria emerging europe

The CEE Region Is Making Advances in Prioritising Waste-to-Energy Projects

Assaults on the Judiciary: How CEE Governments Are Trying to Restrict Judicial Independence, and Why It’s Not Working… For Now

poland romania justice system

Not All Quiet on the Eastern Front

Europe Needs To Be More Proactive In Embracing Armenia

Global Expansion in the Digital Age

Hungary and Israel: the Collision of Past and Present

Budapest synagoge

Prepare for a New Europe

Could the West At Least Help Ukraine To Insure FDI Against Political Risks?

Good Match But Unlikely Marriage

Why Hungary’s New NGO Law Is Harmful for Business

Budapest, Hungary. Aerial view of the old city Budapest, Hungary with river and Parliament Building with cloudy blue sky

PiS Uses Media Control to Bring Poland to Heel

Jaroslaw kaczynski pis emerging europe

Impact of Brexit on EU-CEE Not Overstated

theresa may brexit

EU Visa-Liberalisation Strengthens Georgia’s Pro-Western Path

georgia emerging europe eu

Why is Armenia Borrowing Another 100 Million US Dollars From Russia?

The Right to Water: Who Can Change Today’s Situation?

The Long Tail of Global Expansion

Big Fish, Small Fish, Where to Fish? On the Eve of the Fourth Industrial Revolution

Are Czech-EU Relations at Breaking Point?

PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC - 21 JUNE 2014: People on the streets of Prague, Czech Republic. Prague is one of the most visited city in Europe with over 5 million visitors every year.

Belarusian Journalists Still Face Huge Problems

Visegrád Divided


The Socialism of Central Europe’s Populists

MARSEILLE FRANCE - JUNE 21 2016: People watch football match at Tribunes of Stade Velodrome during UEFA EURO 2016 game Ukraine v Poland

Are Labour Shortages Driving Economic Growth?

Why Emerging Europe is the New Darling of Outsourcing

outsourcing Developing programming and coding technologies. Website design. Cyber space concept.

A Bosnian Referendum Shows Russia’s Influence in the Balkans—As Well As Its Limits

Belarus 2020: Turning the Vicious Circle Into an Upward Spiral

European Volatility Makes Economic Development Slower for Ukraine

January Kicks Off an Exciting Year for Emerging Europe

Moldova Falls Victim to Politicising

moldova emerging europe

Emphasising the Incongruence Between the V4 Countries

Macron emerging europe

Resignation in Ukraine: War, Revolution, Crisis — Some Things Never Change

Czech Republic Renaming Has Real Economic Costs

Regional Relations in the Western Balkans: Moving Beyond Folklore

Bosnia and Herzegovina flag with Serbia flag, 3D rendering

Will a Two-speed European Union Side-line the Visegrad Four?

Finalising the DCFTA is Expected to Bring Multiple Benefits to Ukraine

Is there any prospect of ‘Polexit’?

poland european union polexit

The Morawiecki Plan Promises a Brighter Future for Poland

Swimpassing Dniester Without Prejudice To Democracy

Parliament of the republic of moldova in chisinau, national flag, stefan cel mare street, spring time with blue sky

How Will Trump’s Visit Affect Polish Politics?

Donald trump

Under Promise, Over Deliver: Prospects for the EU’s Eastern Partnership in 2018

Eastern partnership

History as Destiny? Institutional Erosion in Ukraine and Poland

Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict Moves from Frozen to Kinetic


Stuck in Neutral: Georgia’s Constitutional Reforms

Tbilisi Parliament Georgia

The GREAT London Food Scene

Bakery in London

People Power Reminds the Government of the Rule of Law

Poland Challenges the European Identity

Poland emerging europe

Europe at Odds over OPAL and Nord Stream 2

Slovenia’s Presidential Election: Pahor Expected to Romp Home

Slovenia flag against blue sky waving in wind

‘Traditional Values’: A Potent Weapon Against LGBT Rights

gay rights putin

A New Division Between Eastern And Western Europe?

2018 Elections — Vital Decisions for Hungary’s Future

Victor Orban energing europe

Where’s My Cheese? – The GREAT British Food Tour 2014

Cheese Shop

Central and Eastern European Consumers Are Joining the Global Trends for Change

How strong is V4?

Viktor Orban

Changing Perspectives and Showing That True Romania is a Vibrant Innovative Country

Ukraine’s Economic Recovery: Good, But Slow

ukraine money

Business Moving Forward with Cautious Optimism — Can Investors Win the Confidence Game?

United or Divided? Europe in the Face of the Challenges of Tomorrow

The Sharing Economy Could Bring New Business Models to CEE

Are There Differences Between How Tax Regulations in Poland and IAS Treat Intangible Assets?

Partnership is the Key to CEE-Indian Business

The Capital Markets Union: a New Beginning in the European Financial Sector?

Only a United Opposition Can Defeat Poland’s Ruling Law and Justice Party

Classical building of Polish parliament. Warsaw in Poland.

Moldova’s Briefly Suspended President is Still in Business

chisinau moldova parliament

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *