GEM (Global Entrepreneurship Monitor) 2020-21 Global Report

The world is currently in the grip of a devastating pandemic, COVID-19, which has been causing widespread negative health, social and economic impacts. There is a pressing need for careful, authoritative and evidence-based assessment of the pandemic’s impacts on levels of entrepreneurial activity across the world, as well as on attitudes and ambitions. The new 2020/2021 GEM Global Report spells out how levels of entrepreneurial motivation and activity vary across the world. In doing so, it provides the world’s first evidence-based assessment of the impacts of COVID-19 on levels of entrepreneurship.

In most countries across the world in 2020, there were more people who knew someone who stopped a business than knew someone who started one, according to the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) 2020/2021 Global Report.

Among the adults (ages 18-64) from 43 economies participating in GEM’s Adult Population Survey (APS) during the summer of 2020, 43% knew someone who had stopped a business in 2020 as a result of the pandemic, while 25% knew someone who had started a business amid the pandemic.

There was a total of 135,942 respondents with highly varying participation rates between economies. Among many examples of this, 72% of adults in Indonesia knew someone who had stopped a business due to the pandemic, compared to just 16% of adults in Taiwan. In all of the Latin America & Caribbean GEM participating countries except Uruguay, more than half of adults knew someone who started a business as a result of the pandemic, as they did in Indonesia, Angola, Oman, and India.  In the United States, 22% know someone who started a business due to the pandemic, while 42% know someone who stopped a business.

Due to COVID-19, both the markets and the rules of the game have changed and entrepreneurs will increasingly come up with new solutions for the challenges the world faces,” said Niels Bosma, Chair of the GEM Board. “These findings underscore why it is crucial for governments to not just focus on keeping existing businesses alive, but also nurture a fertile ground for new entrepreneurship that can safeguard the jobs of the future.”


New GEM research highlights entrepreneurship trends around the world. Report findings are based on interviews and surveys with nearly 140,000 adults from 46 economies, including both the Adult Population Survey and the National Expert Survey.

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