Region: Europe and North America

Classification of economies by geographic region is based on that of the United Nations Statistics Division.

Middle Income

Based on the income levels set out by the World Economic Forum (WEF) in its Global Competitiveness Report. However, the groupings are slightly different due to the numbers of economies covered. For GEM, the low income group contains both those classified as low income and lower middle by WEF, and the middle income group has those that WEF groups as upper middle. High income is the same for both GEM and WEF.

Population: 9.5 million (2018)

Population data is from the World Bank, except Palestinian Territories World Population Review and Taiwan Worldometers

GDP Growth: 2.5% (2017)

GDP growth data is from the World Economic Outlook Database, except Palestinian Territories Worldometers

GDP Per Capita: $5,757 (2017)

GDP per capita data is from the World Economic Outlook Database, except Palestinian Territories Worldometers

Belarus Reports

Report information
  • Year of publication: 2021
  • Category: National Reports
  • Language: English
  • Upload date: 2022-05-25

  • The last time Belarus participated in a GEM survey was 2019. Since then, the country has undergone significant challenges, stemming both from COVID-19 and from political unrest. And, while it is difficult to calculate the cost of the political conflict, COVID-19 has certainly contributed to economic hardship, with 55.6% of Belarusians reporting that their household lost income this year as a result of the pandemic. These factors may explain the expansion of Belarusian early-stage entrepreneurial activity, which increased to 13.5% (margin of error = ±2.16) in 2021, up from 5.8% (margin of error = ±2.19) in 2019. Lost income and general economic uncertainty can drive some to entrepreneurship out of necessity. However, established business owners also increased to 5.8% in 2021 (from 2.7% in 2019), which may imply that at least some new businesses are surviving to maturity. The expansion of entrepreneurial activity in Belarus is somewhat paradoxical since the general population does not appear to be enthusiastic about the opportunities for starting a business at present. This supports the idea that many early-stage entrepreneurs started their own company out of necessity. Only 25% of Belarusians said there were good opportunities for starting a business where they live, the lowest figure among middle-income GEM economies. And of those respondents who did say they saw good opportunities, 56% said they feared the business would fail, the highest figure among middle-income GEM economies. These responses indicate strong pessimism around starting a new business in Belarus. Entrepreneurs themselves were also fairly pessimistic in 2021. Among TEA respondents, 66.1% said it was more difficult to start a business than in the previous year. This was the third-highest rate of all middle-income GEM economies. Similarly, only 30.4% of those TEA respondents agreed they saw new opportunities as a result of the pandemic, one of the lowest rates among middle-income GEM economies. Among established business owners, respondents also had a fairly low assessment of pandemic-related opportunities, with only 20% agreeing with this statement. These responses indicate that current Belarusian entrepreneurs are not very confident about their future. This negative sentiment, in addition to the general population’s perception of there being few opportunities, means the quality of entrepreneurship in Belarus will continue to degrade unless conditions improve in the form of policy and social confidence. Experts assessing entrepreneurial framework conditions in Belarus echoed the same sentiment as entrepreneurs and the general population. Most conditions were scored poorly, with a couple of exceptions. Critically, both financial and governance-related conditions were scored near the bottom of the rankings compared to peers. Both Finance (2.6) and Ease of Access to finance (2.8) received the lowest scores among middle-income GEM economies. Similarly, the conditions Government policies: support and relevance (1.7) and Government entrepreneurship programs (2.2) were also the lowest scores among middle-income GEM economies. Educational conditions received low scores as well. Cumulatively, these scores reflect a low investment and general lack of involvement in promoting high-quality entrepreneurship by Belarusian institutions. Belarus’s best-performing condition was Commercial and professional infrastructure, which received a score of 5.6, ranking 5th among middle-income GEM economies. This indicates there is a relatively strong professional class within Belarus and obtaining their services is affordable compared to other peer economies. This is fortunate, as many new businesses must turn to the professional class in the absence of government support for entrepreneurship.
  • URL:
GEM Belarus 2021/2022
Report information
GEM Belarus 2019/2020 (russian version)
Report information
GEM Belarus 2019/2020 (english version)