Why is GEM unique?
GEM focuses on the individual entrepreneur. Most businesses start with and are embodied by a single individual, or a team of individuals. This focus matches GEM’s socio-economic perspective.
GEM uses primary data collection in a harmonized approach to measure entrepreneurship, and the framework conditions that are believed to be conducive to entrepreneurship. This is essential for making international comparisons.
GEM recognizes entrepreneurship as a process. GEM measures capture different elements of the entrepreneurial process, ranging from opportunity recognition, entrepreneurial intentions, to nascent entrepreneurship and important characteristics of entrepreneurial activity.
The annual GEM data collection effort results in massive comprehensive datasets - the 2001-2010 multi-year APS database covers over 1.3 million observations across 85 countries - that facilitate the analysis of individuals’ entrepreneurial attitudes, activity and aspirations for different kinds of firms and sectors, and take into account different regional and national contexts. In recent years, these kinds of analyses have resulted in some significant academic empirical contributions dealing with theoretically grounded hypotheses that could previously not be tested due to lack of data.
GEM is home to over 400 specialists in the field of entrepreneurship research - an impressive global network of expertise. These experts scrutinise and develop the survey instruments, ensuring that they are fit for purpose year on year; they are tuned into the latest developments in entrepreneurship research, and help select relevant and current areas for ‘Special Topic’ research.
By not determining sectors in advance, GEM takes into account innovative activities in firms that are not usually considered part of innovative or high-tech industries. It should be noted however, that aspirations such as job growth expectation, innovation and international orientation are self-reported activities.