Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) UK

The Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) research consortium has been measuring entrepreneurial activity of working age adults across a wide range of countries in a comparable way since 1998. In 2014, the study conducted surveys in 70 sovereign nations and represented the world’s most authoritative comparative study of entrepreneurial activity in the general adult population.
GEM’s primary focus is on the study of three areas:
• To measure differences in the level of entrepreneurial activity between countries
• To uncover factors leading to appropriate levels of entrepreneurship
• To suggest policies that may enhance the national level of entrepreneurial activity.
The 2014 GEM global study was based on an analysis of adult population survey (APS) results from 70 economies and more than 198,000 adults across the world. The core of the APS is identical in each country and asks respondents about their attitudes towards entrepreneurship, if they are involved in some form of entrepreneurial activity, and if so what their aspirations for their business are. The global GEM Executive 2014 Report was published in February 2015 and can be downloaded from

From the GEM survey, we examine individual entrepreneurs at three key stages:

• Nascent entrepreneurs: The stage at which individuals begin to commit resources, such as time or money, to starting a business. To qualify as a nascent entrepreneur, the business must not have been paying wages for more than three months.

• New business owner-managers: Those whose business has been paying income, such as salaries or drawings, for more than three, but not more than forty-two, months.

• Established business owner-managers: Those whose business has been paying income, such as salaries or drawings, for more than forty-two months.

In addition, we measure general intention to start a business by asking individuals if they expect to start a business within the next three years. Finally, we ask individuals if they have sold, shut down, discontinued or quit a business, in the past year. It is important to understand that the main subject of study in GEM is entrepreneurs rather than the businesses that they run. GEM measures the entrepreneurial activity of people from intention to exit. GEM UK is one of the largest, longest-running national studies of entrepreneurial activity in the world, with over 250,000 individuals interviewed since monitoring began with a sample of 1,000 adults in 1998. In 2015, 9.500 adults aged 16-80 were interviewed. This large pooled cross-sectional dataset is now seen as the authoritative source on UK entrepreneurial ‘activity’. Each respondent has a postcode identifier and are allocated to a range of UK geographies (e.g., LEPS, Local Authorities, areas of multiple deprivation, urban/rural spectrum using DEFRA and ONS definitions)