The 2017/18 Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) reports that North America shows highest levels of innovation and job creation

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A robust 74 percent of entrepreneurs around the world have started businesses in pursuit of an opportunity rather than out of necessity—this according to the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) 2017/18 Global Report (pdf) released today with sponsors Babson College,Universidad Del Desarrollo,Universiti Tun Abdul Razak, andKorea Entrepreneurship Foundation.

Fifty-four economies participated in the 2017/18 GEM survey, covering 68 percent of the world’s population and 86 percent of the world’s GDP. In its 19thconsecutive year, the report continues to serve as the largest single study of entrepreneurs in the world.

According to the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) 2017/18 Global Report: 

Innovation is highest in North America at 40 percent. This is measured by the extent to which entrepreneurs are introducing new products that are unfamiliar to all or some customers and offered by few or no competitors.

Thirty percent of North American entrepreneurs expect to create at least six jobs in the next five years.

In developing economies, more than half of all entrepreneurs operate in wholesale and retail. In contrast, 61 percent of entrepreneurs in North America operate in the technology, finance, and professional services sectors.

“The high levels of innovation, growth-oriented entrepreneurship, and startup activity in technology, finance, and professional service sectors distinguishes entrepreneurship in North America from other regions,” said Donna Kelley, Babson College Professor and member of the Board of Directors of the Global Entrepreneurship Research Association, which overseas GEM. “Entrepreneurs here are key drivers of knowledge and human capital-based business activity. They are improving people’s lives through new and advanced products and services, creating jobs, and demonstrating clear impact not only within their society, but around the world.”

Latin America and the Caribbean, and North America, demonstrate the highest rates of women entrepreneurship (17 percent and 13 percent). These two regions also have the highest rates of youth entrepreneurship (17 percent and 14 percent).

Key Findings


Job Creation Projections




Societal Values about Entrepreneurship


Self-Perceptions about Entrepreneurship


Phases and Types of Entrepreneurial Activity


Gender and Age Distribution of Early-Stage Entrepreneurial Activity


Motivation for Early-Stage Entrepreneurial Activity


Industry Sector Participation

About the Report

The 2017/18 Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) Global Report represents the 19th consecutive year GEM has tracked rates of entrepreneurship across multiple phases of entrepreneurial activity; assessed the characteristics, motivations, and ambitions of entrepreneurs; and explored the attitudes societies have towards this activity, worldwide. This report includes results based on 54 world economies participating in the 2017/18 GEM survey. The aim of this report is to inform academics, educators, policy-makers, and practitioners about the multi-dimensional nature of entrepreneurship around the world, advancing knowledge and guiding decisions that can lead to the conditions that allow entrepreneurship to thrive. 

About the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM)

The Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) was initiated in 1999 as a joint venture of Babson College and the London Business School. Starting with 10 participating economies, the project expanded to include 73 economies in its 2014 survey. GEM is unique because, unlike most entrepreneurship data sets that measure newer and smaller firms, GEM studies the behaviour of individuals with respect to starting and managing businesses. GEM academic teams in each participating economy are members of an exclusive research project that provides access to the collective knowledge of some of the world’s most renowned researchers and institutions involved in entrepreneurship research. GEM data has influenced national economic policies and continues to expand its collaborative role. For more information, follow GEM on Twitter.

About Babson College

Babson College is the educator, convener, and thought leader for Entrepreneurship of All Kinds®. The top-rankedcollege for entrepreneurship education, Babson is a dynamic living and learning laboratory where students, faculty, and staff work together to address the real-world problems of business and society. We prepare the entrepreneurial leaders our world needs most: those with strong functional knowledge and the skills and vision to navigate change, accommodate ambiguity, surmount complexity, and motivate teams in a common purpose to make a difference in the world, and have an impact on organizations of all sizes and types. As we have for nearly a half-century, Babson continues to advance Entrepreneurial Thought & Action® as the most positive force on the planet for generating sustainable economic and social value.  

By Brianna Radicioni,, (781) 239-4548 | 01/28/2018 02:00