The Global Entrepreneurship Research Network (GERN) is a community of institutions serving the field of practitioners in entrepreneurship ecosystem building, with data collection, rigorous analysis and actionable insights to achieve greater impact. GERN is part of the wider Global Entrepreneurship Network (GEN), a platform for entrepreneurial support programs and initiatives operating in 160+ countries. The research community members that form GERN believe that evidence-based programs and interventions can improve entrepreneurial outcomes, and that better-informed initiatives lead to more entrepreneur-led value creation.
As GEN’s research arm, GERN activities revolve around:
- Providing insight into what policymakers can (and cannot) do to foster enabling entrepreneurial ecosystems.
- Disseminating assessments on the impact that different programs and incentives have on building ventures.
- Connecting with governments and entrepreneur-support organizations (ESOs) to help them build data-based decision making capacity.
- Curating a community of practice around expanding minimally viable data sets required by entrepreneurial support organizations to monitor performance (‘GEN Data” community).
By leveraging the collective knowledge, methodologies, know-how, and intellectual and financial resources of its members, GERN contributes to addressing questions emerging from the field. GERN members span all regions of the world and include the World Bank, MaRS Data Catalyst, Nesta, Future Cities Catapult, the Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs (ANDE), and the Argidius Foundation. See here a full list of GERN members.
In 2014, GEN and the Kauffman Foundation gathered funders of entrepreneurship research in Moscow during the Global Entrepreneurship Congress to find ways to address this problem: Academic research on entrepreneurship was not keeping pace with the explosion of interest in entrepreneurial activity as a strategy for job creation, innovation and economic growth. The inadequacy of entrepreneurship research was becoming an obstacle to continued progress in advancing entrepreneurial economies.
The research network set out to help translate enthusiasm for entrepreneurship into greater numbers of successful, growing firms, by addressing knowledge gaps among entrepreneurship supporters.
With a history of elevating the quality and quantity of academic entrepreneurship research in entrepreneurship, the Kauffman Foundation became the funder of GERN operations.
While advances have been made, researchers agree that there remains a paucity of data around which policies and programs actually help increase rates of new firm formation. At the same time, there is a growing demand for more robust evidence on what policies and interventions make a demonstrated difference in helping entrepreneurs.
GERN’s mission is to provide policymakers and entrepreneurship support program leaders with:
- Greater quality and quantity of ecosystem diagnostics tools that are based on rigorous research.
- Improved access to strategy analysis and impact evaluations to help them achieve their goals.
- Enhanced availability of timely entrepreneurship data.
- Access to reliable benchmarking tools for gauging potential for entrepreneurial growth.
If you are interested in engaging with GERN, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.