The greater availability of data on entrepreneurship is one of the main drivers behind the rush to build better startup ecosystems around the world. By revealing weak areas in a country’s entrepreneurship ecosystem and enabling cross-country benchmarking, more data is yielding important insights for better economic and regulatory policymaking.
Data projects have always varied in their methodology and even in their definitions of terms like “new business” and “entrepreneurial venture.” Further, parameters for business size and growth categories also vary widely across data sources. However, with more data sources emerging, we can now crosscheck or triangulate data to test whether a specific measure stands despite the differences in methodologies and definitions. For example, if the entrepreneurial pulse of a country is positive across methodologies, we can feel more confident about making a judgment about that nation’s entrepreneurship ecosystem.
It has been a few months since I last reported on some of the available sources for global data on entrepreneurship. At the time, my list of global data sources included:
Ahead of the Global Entrepreneurship Congress which kicks off this coming weekend, I thought I would point out additional data I have been made aware of in the hope readers can let me know if there are more sources we are missing. Here are the ones I recently added to my own data bank:
The quality of data sources has been somewhat a matter of contention. As the field attracts more scholars and intellectuals housed in universities around the world, there is greater discipline around data collection methodologies and robust research standards. At the grassroots, programmatic level, these data drive substantial investment of time and resources. For policymakers, it is one of the most important drivers of action to support entrepreneurs as evidenced in the World Bank’s Doing Business report. Next Monday, the Global Entrepreneurship Congress in Rio de Janeiro will open with a review of successful government action in response to available data that has guided policymaking from all corners of the globe. The community of scholars helping us to understand what we must measure and how, must get this right—not just because our first mission should be to do no harm, but because, for all of us, data provides us with a sober insight into the impact of our efforts.
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