Global Entrepreneurship Monitor: Spain GEM Report 2017
Fundación Rafael del Pino, in collaboration with the Centro Internacional Santander Emprendimiento (CISE), the Asociación RED GEM España and Banco Santander through Santander Universities.
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 2017″ on 12 April 2018.
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.
The event was structured according to the following programme:
13.00 Welcome 13.15 Presentation of results Iñaki Peña, Technical Director, GEM Spain 13.30 Round table Marisol Quintero, CEO of Bioncotech Therapeutics Isidro de Pablo, Professor at the Autonomous University of Madrid Isabel Neira, Senior Lecturer at the University of Santiago de Compostela David Pistoni, CEO and co-founder of Zeleros Rafael Bernardo, Journalist, Cadena Ser (moderator) 14.15 Closing
On 12 April 2018, the presentation of the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor Spain 2017 Report took place at the Rafael del Pino Foundation. In the first, Iñaki Peña, professor at the University of Deusto and technical director of GEM Spain, presented the main results of this year's edition of the report. The second part was a round table on entrepreneurship and innovation with the participation of Marisol Quintero, CEO of Bioncotech Therapeutics; Isidro de Pablo, professor at the Autonomous University of Madrid; Isabel Neira, professor at the University of Santiago de Compostela, and David Pistoni, CEO and co-founder of Zeleros. Iñaki Peña began the summary of the report by pointing out that the United Kingdom, Germany and Sweden have increased both their GDP per capita between 2008 and 2017 and their entrepreneurial activity. In the same period, Spain, for its part, has also increased its GDP per capita, but has done so with less entrepreneurial activity. However, in the last three years it has outperformed other countries, including Germany and Sweden, not only in terms of GDP per capita growth but also in terms of entrepreneurial activity. In this decade, therefore, the report detects first a decline, then a recovery and, in the last three years, a stronger recovery, so we are on the right track. Behind this phenomenon lie values around entrepreneurship. In Spain, half of the population believes that entrepreneurship can be a good career option, although in other countries the percentage is higher. With regard to entrepreneurial opportunities in the next six months, southern countries are more pessimistic and think that they need to be created. When the Spanish population is asked whether they intend to start a business in the next three years, Spain lags behind its neighbours in other countries. If there is a low intention, it is to be expected that we will have a low level of entrepreneurial action, but it is also true that we have some neighbouring countries such as France that perceive opportunities in the same way as we do, but have a higher intention. Therefore, the pace of entrepreneurial action in Spain is quite positive. We are the third European country in this respect. This is very promising for the future. In recent years, we have improved the rate of business creation. Some do it because there is an opportunity, but others do it because they have no chance of returning to the labour market. The percentage of entrepreneurship out of necessity in Spain is quite high. But that does not mean that there is not another type of entrepreneurship in our country. These are businesses that come with new technologies, the development of new products and services, and with more and more companies that invoice abroad. In terms of participation in technological sectors, the countries with the greatest number of university entrepreneurs are the best placed. Spain is at a medium level. We should be moving towards a society that is capable of entrepreneurship in terms of innovation, growth and the generation of well-being. In order to achieve this, we need to make progress in a productive entrepreneurial culture that generates economic and social value, raising society's awareness of entrepreneurial values, recognising entrepreneurship for its capacity to generate value. The round table began with the intervention of Isabel Neira, professor at the University of Santiago de Compostela, who warned that, when we talk about technology, we must distinguish between companies that have a significant contribution of technology, i.e. that devote 5% of their production to R&D, and start-ups and spin-offs. It should also be borne in mind that 30% of young people who study mathematics, economics and engineering say they want to become entrepreneurs, but only 5% do so. There is something wrong here and it is a question of entrepreneurial culture, which is high in some universities, but not in others. On the other hand, there is R&D in business. Spain has never been a country with a strong commitment to public R&D and business R&D. There are very good examples in the Basque Country. There are very good examples in the Basque Country or Galicia, which are the ones that should be transferred to the rest and we should not look so much at countries such as France or Germany, but rather at Ireland or Israel. In this sense, it is necessary to help young university students to become entrepreneurs and to explain that it is unfeasible for only 7% of companies to be innovative. As regards the gender gap in entrepreneurship, this can be solved with education. In entrepreneurship, the gap is narrowing, but in technological entrepreneurship there is a field, bio-health, in which girls are beginning to be in the majority. In engineering, on the other hand, the percentage of girls is falling, due to the perception they have of their mathematical abilities. For his part, Isidro de Pablo, professor at the Autonomous University of Madrid, stressed that we must start from the premise that the entrepreneurial attitude is something transversal. If we apply it to the field of research, the seed is curiosity. A person who is not curious is not an entrepreneur. The next link is the sensitivity to detect opportunities, i.e. research for what, and this is where we have to work on transferring research results and changing the way teachers and researchers think and work. In this sense, the education system should incorporate the entrepreneurial attitude, inseminate it in our students towards detecting opportunities, detecting a problem and providing a solution. The creation of a company by a researcher is a very complex task because it is a question of transforming a researcher, a person who probably never even thought of working for a company, into an entrepreneur. We have to design programmes to accompany these people so that they have a better chance of success. Each university has to develop its own transfer process. The ideal model is an embryonic company that can use the university's research team. Marisol Quintero, CEO of Bioncotech Therapeutics, explained that her company is developing a drug in the area of immuno-oncology. From her experience she drew attention to the fact that knowledge-based companies are usually in the early years heavily supported by public funding. There comes a point when that is not enough, especially in the biotech field. Then you have to rely on private investment. There is also a moment in these companies when you need profiles capable of managing a company and relations at an international level. In your company, most of our academic collaborations are foreign. So they cannot wait for the public to solve problems. Finally, he indicated that we must try not only to create but also to consolidate this type of company. Lastly, David Pistoni, CEO and co-founder of Zeleros, explained that his business project began as a university team at the Polytechnic University of Valencia, which participated in a competition promoted by Elon Musk from the United States to launch a new means of transport, called Hyperloop, which consists of rail transport in a train inside a tube at high speed. To do so, they assembled a team and reached the final phase in Texas, where they presented their project. They won the prize for the best proposal for the propulsion system. They then decided to take the leap to the company. There, they found that it is difficult to consolidate the company and achieve its long-term goals. That is why it is necessary to rely on both the public and the private sector. Sometimes the instruments are not prepared for the agility that a start-up requires, neither the public nor the private ones. Another problem was that the business training they had received was more focused on large companies, not on the creation of a start-up. For this reason, he believes that resources to support the creation and accompaniment of projects should be strengthened.
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.