Global Entrepreneurship Monitor: Spain GEM Report 2016
The Rafael del Pino Foundation, in collaboration with the Santander International Centre for Entrepreneurship (CISE), the RED GEM Spain Association and Banco Santander through Santander Universities, has launched a new project to promote entrepreneurship in Spain.
The Rafael del Pino Foundation, in collaboration with the Centro Internacional Santander Emprendimiento (CISE), the Asociación RED GEM España and Banco Santander through Santander Universities, organised the presentation of the report "Global Entrepreneurship Monitor: GEM Spain 2016″ on 14 June 2017.
GEM is an annual observatory, since 1999, whose main mission is to provide data on the measurement of the rate of entrepreneurial activity in the participating nations, regions and cities, as well as a broad description of its characteristics, its relationship with economic development and a diagnosis of the state of the main institutional conditions or environment for entrepreneurship.
This report provides institutions and actors involved in entrepreneurship with quality information and indicators to foster entrepreneurship. The time series and comparisons across economies and cultural backgrounds are also of great value for understanding and learning about the mechanisms that promote entrepreneurship.
GEM Spain, within the framework of this global project, is formed by the Spanish Network of Regional GEM Teams, made up of researchers from 19 universities. It has the support of 90 institutions.
On 14 June 2017, the GEM Spain 2016 Report was presented at the Rafael del Pino Foundation. Iñaki Peña, technical director of GEM Spain, explained the contents of the document. He explained that in the past, Spain had experienced a fairly severe economic recession, but there was a capacity to react. Now, GDP is growing at a faster rate than that of our European partners. Per capita income is also increasing, which augurs a certain optimism when it comes to embarking on the adventure of entrepreneurship. Since 2014, the rate of business start-ups has exceeded the rate of company closures. During the crisis, more companies were disappearing, which decapitalised the business fabric, but now fewer companies are closing and more are opening. At the moment, the problem is the size of the companies, as in Germany they are larger, more productive and have more capacity for innovation. When it comes to considering entrepreneurship as a career option, things are better in the US than here, and the same goes for entrepreneurship. Fear of failure weighs here because the option of a second chance is not as developed as it is there. In the United States, 12% of the population has been encouraged to launch a business, compared to 6% of Spaniards, although we are picking up in this regard as the recovery consolidates. In fact, there is a correlation between economic recovery and entrepreneurship. As for the reasons for entrepreneurship, in Spain, two people did so because they perceived an opportunity for every one person who did so out of a need to create a job. The ratio is three to one in Germany and six to one in the United States. New businesses are not very complicated to set up, usually self-employed, and are less innovative than in Germany and, above all, than in the United States. Only 10% of Spanish entrepreneurs envisage the possibility of hiring more people in five years' time, compared to 20% in Germany and 30% in the US. In terms of the conditions for entrepreneurship, Spain lags behind the United States and Germany, but, above all, it is below the level of sufficiency. There is clearly room for improvement, especially in terms of bureaucracy. In terms of the promotion of entrepreneurial culture, Spain is also below the sufficiency level in both primary and university education. In the last four years, financing has increased, thanks to crowdfunding, and the percentage of entrepreneurs among people over the age of fifty has grown, to the point that they now exceed the percentage of entrepreneurs among people under the age of thirty. This was followed by a round table discussion with José Luis del Río, CEO of Arcano Capital; Laura Lozano, co-founder and CEO of Charging Technologies; Paloma Domingo, Director of the Science Park of the Carlos III University, and Ana Fernández Laviada, Executive Director of GEM Spain. Paloma Domingo pointed out that, in recent years, there has been a growth in university entrepreneurship, both at undergraduate level and among researchers. We are also beginning to see changes in schools. And there is also a change in the social perception of entrepreneurship. However, there is still much to be done, especially in terms of public administration and funding. Laura Lozano, in turn, explained that she started entrepreneurship because she saw a very clear business opportunity. She perceived that there was something that was not covered but that people needed. And she pointed out that a major obstacle was everything that had to be paid to set up a company. Ana Fernández pointed out that you can start a business out of opportunity or necessity. A decade ago, 80% of entrepreneurs did it out of opportunity and 20% out of necessity. With the crisis, the ratio became 70%-25%, but the aim is to return to a ratio of 80-20. José Luis del Río stressed that now is a good time to invest. An ecosystem is being set up that is attracting money from abroad, but the Spanish system does not have the capacity to invest. Today it is being sustained by public money, to make up for private money that is not coming in. In this sense, we are a long way from the United States. There, there is a greater entrepreneurial vocation, there is no fear of failure and there is more financing. Moreover, entrepreneurs there decide who they are going to work with and it is common to fail three to five times in a lifetime. In this sense, Laura Lozano referred to the need to internationalise because if your company stayed only in Spain, it would probably not be able to succeed. Paloma Domingo indicated that researchers are now more willing to undertake, they are more aware of the opportunities. In universities, the problem is how to get science to the market. This gap can be filled by creating companies. It all depends on universities having the awareness to generate value. For her part, Ana Fernández said that those countries with a higher per capita income have higher levels of intra-entrepreneurship. If the management supports it, it is easier, and if the economic and social environment is favourable, a lot can be done. José Luis del Río explained that, when it comes to entrepreneurship, it is necessary to have a good idea and for that idea to be useful for the market. In order to lose the fear of entrepreneurship, it is essential to translate the idea into a business model. She also considers it necessary to change the culture of Spanish financial institutions in relation to entrepreneurship. For Laura Lozano, the important thing is to have a good team and to convince them that your project is also theirs. For Ana Fernández, it is essential that education creates a culture of entrepreneurship and a social base that supports it. And for Paloma Domingo, in relation to university researchers, the problem lies in the academic recognition of activities related to entrepreneurship and having the resources to do so.
The Rafael del Pino Foundation is not responsible for the comments, opinions or statements made by the people who participate in its activities and which are expressed as a result of their inalienable right to freedom of expression and under their sole responsibility. The contents included in the summary of this conference, written for the Rafael del Pino Foundation by Professor Emilio González, are the result of the debates held at the meeting held for this purpose at the Foundation and are the responsibility of the authors.
The Rafael del Pino Foundation is not responsible for any comments, opinions or statements made by third parties. In this respect, the FRP is not obliged to monitor the views expressed by such third parties who participate in its activities and which are expressed as a result of their inalienable right to freedom of expression and under their own responsibility. The contents included in the summary of this conference, written for the Rafael del Pino Foundation by Professor Emilio J. González, are the result of the discussions that took place during the conference organised for this purpose at the Foundation and are the sole responsibility of its authors.