Are you an entrepreneur with experience of doing business in Europe? Do you see yourself starting your own venture in the region? Have you ever been engaged in activities or policies involving young, innovative companies? If the answer to any of these questions is yes, the World Economic Forum would like to hear your views, via a survey on the conditions for entrepreneurship in Europe (open until 2 March). Those who participate in the survey will receive a report on the results as well as relevant data.
So why is this survey important? It is part of a special Forum project titled Fostering Innovation-Driven Entrepreneurship in Europe, which draws on all of the Forum’s communities in Europe and beyond to encourage innovation-driven ventures. Companies, entrepreneurs and policy-makers have contributed to a new lifecycle-based model for understanding what is required to start a new venture (stand up), to turn an idea into an operation that delivers value (start up) and to expand this value exponentially to create jobs and significant economic activity (scale up). Read our intermediate report here.
However, in order to help entrepreneurs put this model into action, policy-makers and business leaders need to understand the region and be able to assess where the gaps are in different markets. By contributing to the survey, you will be helping us to identify where the key challenges lie and how we can overcome them.
So far we have received more than 500 responses from all over Europe, but this number needs to double in order for us to have statistical insights from every European country. The Forum will publish the results in the media, as well as directly to European policy-makers, heads of state and top business leaders – and directly to you too, should you complete the survey.
For a taste of what insights can come out of this research, here are some preliminary results: 57% of respondents said entrepreneurship education was a meaningful prior experience for their work, followed by 36% who highlighted peer influence, 34% who cited family influence and 15% who pointed to the entrepreneurial culture in their countries.
A hefty 79% of those surveyed think there is the potential to improve collaboration between entrepreneurs, universities, large companies and academic institutions in their country, identifying this as an area where the conditions for scaling businesses could be improved.
The survey highlights the need for more transparency around the current initiatives supporting entrepreneurship; 90% of participants say it’s important to set up and develop a visible, inclusive network of public and private initiatives designed to support new enterprises across Europe. Motivation to support these measures is also very high among respondents – 83% stated they would be likely to personally support initiatives related to one of the measures to improve conditions for entrepreneurship over the course of the next year.
Image: Wind turbines are pictured in this multiple exposure at the German village of Feldheim, 21 February 2013. REUTERS/Tobias Schwarz