Spain is ahead of Germany and the United Kingdom as a Country Favorable to Entrepreneurship

Two data concerning Spain draw attention in the last GEM World Report: the first is that we lead the entrepreneurial parity in Europe and, second, that Spain is ahead of countries such as Germany or the United Kingdom as a context favorable to entrepreneurship.

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Two data concerning Spain draw attention in the last GEM World Report: the first is that we lead the entrepreneurial parity in Europe and, second, that Spain is ahead of countries such as Germany or the United Kingdom as a context favorable to entrepreneurship.

The Global Report GEM 2018/2019 (Global Entrepreneurship Monitor), presented this year in Chile, highlights two things favorable to entrepreneurship, especially with regard to Spain. On the one hand, it highlights that the gender gap continues to narrow among entrepreneurs around the world, especially in Spain. On the other hand, the report introduces a new indicator (Index of Context of National Entrepreneurship) that assesses the conditions of the environment to undertake. Also here we are particularly favored given that, out of a total of 54 countries evaluated, Spain occupies the 16th place ahead of countries such as Germany (19th), Japan (20th) and the United Kingdom (30th). The first place in the ranking is held by Qatar while the US is in sixth place.

Believe it or not, the experts valued Spain positively with regard to government initiatives to boost entrepreneurship and the infrastructure that the country has. However, they still consider insufficient aspects such as education in entrepreneurship, both in school and university, and see policies that reduce bureaucratic procedures and tax burdens.

GEM is the largest study linked to entrepreneurship in the world that has been running uninterrupted since 1999. It assesses characteristics, motivations and ambitions when undertaking hundreds of thousands of people in countries on five continents. This global initiative has in Spain a network of more than 100 researchers coordinated by the Santander Entrepreneurship International Center (CISE) and with the sponsorship of Banco Santander, the Rafael del Pino Foundation and Enisa.

The main index analyzed by GEM is the Entrepreneurial Activity Rate (TEA), which measures business ideas that have up to 3.5 years of life among the population aged 18 to 64 years. Because the entrepreneurial activity tends to be higher in economies with less economic development, the TEA of countries such as Chile (25.1%), Guatemala (27.5%) or Angola (40.8%) are much more higher than that of the European economies, which have the lowest entrepreneurial rates in the world: Cyprus (3.9%), Italy (4.2%) or Germany (5%).


With regard to Spain, entrepreneurial activity continues to increase (from 5.2% in 2016 to 6.4% today) and remains on the path of recovery towards figures before the crisis (7.6% in 2007). Even so, the established business rate (with more than 3.5 years in the market) drops by one point, placing Spain (6%) below the average of European and North American countries (7.4%), a consequence of low activity in the years of crisis.

As for female TEA, it increases again (from 5.6% to 6%), so that the gap between men and women when it comes to entrepreneurship decreases for the sixth consecutive year. At present, 9 women start businesses for every 10 Spanish men, a figure that exceeds the European average, where only 6 women are counted for every 10 men entrepreneurs. The main conclusion is that, at this moment, Spain leads parity in the European entrepreneurial environment.

The other favorable fact is that, on its 20th anniversary, GEM has introduced as a novelty the Context Index of National Entrepreneurship (NECI), which assesses the environmental conditions for entrepreneurship in an economy. The NECI index values ​​government policies, bureaucracy and taxes, infrastructure, education in entrepreneurship or R & D transfer, among other factors. Of the 54 economies that contributed data for this new indicator, Spain ranks number 16, above economies such as Germany (19th), Japan (20th) and the United Kingdom (30th). To say also that in Spain, 70.7% of the entrepreneurs consulted, said to undertake motivated by business opportunity.

As for corporate entrepreneurship, contrary to what happens with the ASD, this tends to be higher in developed economies. In this case, Spain, with an index of 1.7%, is very far from countries such as Ireland, which, with 8.6%, occupies the first place in the intra-enterprise rate (EEA).


The data of the last Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) are encouraging and confirm that Spain is a suitable country for a digitalization that contributes to closing social gaps: the gender gap, but also the territorial, the economic or the age.

Spain may be the next ‘startup nation’. We have already taken the first steps. Imagine what we could achieve if we make the State not a barrier, but an ally.

The entrepreneurship sector is strategic both from an economic and social point of view. It is the sector that can generate a stronger, faster and wider impact on the economy as a whole. In addition, startups generate quality employment. The figures attest to this: 70% of new jobs are full-time and almost 60% are permanent.

That is why the Spanish Entrepreneurial Nation strategy that we are preparing in the Government is so important. It is a ten-year strategy that seeks to lay the foundations of the country model that we need to build. A country where the startup ecosystem does not work in isolation, but in collaboration with all the other actors in the economy, and that also serves to reduce inequalities. A country that does not leave anyone behind.


In general terms, the report reflects a decrease in the level of job creation expectations. According to the authors, these changes could be due to limitations related to the hiring and maintenance of employees. But they could also reflect autonomous work preferences or business models where entrepreneurs, instead of contracting internally, operate as part of a network, connected thanks to new technologies. Regarding Spain, 44% of the entrepreneurs consulted are planning to create a job and 8.7% expect to hire 6 or more people, in line with the expectations announced in previous years.

The United States (71.8%) is the developed economy with the highest proportion of entrepreneurs who expect to create jobs in the next five years, while in Europe the average is 49.4%.