For third time in a row, Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) was implemented in Macedonia, according to the established methodology of Babson College and London School of Business. The survey encompassed a telephone survey of 2,003 respondents aged 18-64, aiming to explore their perceptions and stances on entrepreneurship. Additionally, 30 national experts were surveyed in order to contribute to the contextual analysis for entrepreneurship promotion.
Entrepreneurial perceptions reflect attitudes towards entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship, opportunities and risks for starting business, possessing skills and experience, as well as other indicators. Almost every third respondent feels that there will be in the next 6 months good opportunities for starting business, whereas every second respondent is of opinion that he/she has the required knowledge and skills for starting business. According to the last indicator, Macedonia is a leader compared to other countries in the region and the EU. 39% from the respondents which feel that there will be in the next 6 months good opportunities for starting business, list fear of failure as a reason for preventing them from starting business. On the other hand, 28% from them would start business in the next 3 years. More than 70% feel that entrepreneurship is preferable career option whereas 67% feel that entrepreneurs enjoy high status in the society. Compared to 2008, when the first survey GEM was performed in Macedonia, the last two indicators register decline of 10 and 5 percent points, respectively.
The section on entrepreneurial activity examines to which degree do people undertake new business activities, as well as why they quit the business. The entrepreneurial activity is measured through the main index TEA (Total Early-stage Entrepreneurial Activity). This index stands at 6.97% for 2012. It is comprised of 3.73% of nascent entrepreneurs (those who have business activities up to 3 months) and 3.24% of new entrepreneurs (with business activities up to 3.5 years). This index is in line with the indices of other countries in the region, as well as the unweighted EU average. GEM makes distinction between entrepreneurship motivated by opportunity and necessity. In Macedonia, 52% from the entrepreneurs have stated that they are motivated by necessity, whereas 29% are motivated by opportunity. In 2012, as well as in the previous surveys, the profile of the typical entrepreneur is male, aged 25-34, with higher education and higher income level. On a similar level as the TEA Index, 6.73% from the respondents declared to be owners or managers of already established businesses (with business operations exceeding 3.5 years). This year as well, for most commonly mentioned reasons for ending business activities are: unprofitability of the business and financing problems.
The entrepreneurial aspirations provide qualitative nature of the entrepreneurial activity through examining the growth aspirations, orientations towards innovation and towards external market. In Macedonia, 60% from entrepreneurs in early stage expect to employ up to 5 persons in the next 5 years, whereas 12% expect to employ up to 20 persons. At the same time, 20% from the early-stage entrepreneurs have aspirations towards innovation, while 26% are exposed to external markets for sale of their products and services.
Additionally, the GEM report includes an analysis of the environment for entrepreneurship support, through surveying national experts. This analysis provides insight into the 9 defined areas that either support or limit the development of the entrepreneurial activities. These areas are: finance, government policies, government programmes, entrepreneurial education and training, transfer of research and development, commercial and legal infrastructure, openness of domestic market, physical infrastructure and cultural/social norms.