Barriers to Entrepreneurship

Barriers to Entrepreneurship: Views from Public Officials



Cristina A. Fernandez                                Peter Komives
VP for Policy and Research                       VP for Strategic Development
Global Entrepreneurship Network              Global Entrepreneurship Network



Global Entrepreneurship Research Network (GERN) members who contributed to shaping the questionnaire are: the Argidius Foundation, the Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE), the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, and NESTA.



That entrepreneurship contributes directly to job creation and innovation is now accepted knowledge. This being the case, barriers to entrepreneurship are barriers to economic growth.

To better understand barriers to increasing entrepreneurial activity, the GEN team conducted a global survey of more than 200 entrepreneurship support organization (ESO) leaders and public sector officials responsible for entrepreneurship policy and programming in 114 different countries.

The goal of this research project is three-fold:

  1. To examine what barriers are perceived by two groups (ESO leaders and public sector officials).
  2. To learn how respondents are addressing them.
  3. To forge new collaborations within and across ecosystems aimed at reducing or eliminating identified barriers.



GERN staff published the following analyses of perspectives to date:



About the sample of public sector respondents:

  • Of the more than 200 respondents to the 2019 Survey on Barriers to Entrepreneurs, 72 from 45 different countries were from public sector offices working on entrepreneurship.
  • The sample includes a mix of national, sub-national and city-level officials.
  • Responses were collected throughout July and August 2019.
  • Countries in this sample are, in alphabetical order: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Belgium, Brazil, Cambodia, Canada, Chad, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Democratic Republic of Congo, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Estonia, Eswatini, Georgia, Germany, Guinea Bissau, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Lithuania, Madagascar, Malaysia, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Qatar, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Slovakia, South Africa, Sweden, Uruguay.

About the sample of public sector respondents:

  • 157 respondents to the 2019 Survey on Barriers to Entrepreneurs self-selected as working for an entrepreneur support organization (ESO).
  • Responses were collected throughout July and August 2019. 
  • The 157 respondents span from across 94 countries. Countries in this sample, in alphabetical order, are: Albania, Andorra, Angola, Antigua & Barbuda, Argentina, Australia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Benin, Bolivia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Chad, Chile, China, Colombia, Côte d'Ivoire, Croatia, Curacao, Democratic Republic of Congo, Republic of the Congo, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Estonia, Eswatini, France, Georgia, Ghana, Grenada, Guatemala, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Jordan, Kenya, Kosovo, Liberia, Macedonia, Madagascar, Mali, Mexico, Moldova, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, New Zealand, Niger, Nigeria, Palestine, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, The Philippines, Puerto Rico, Russia, Rwanda, St. Vincent & the Grenadines, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sri Lanka, St. Kitts & Nevis, Sudan, Sweden, Taiwan, Thailand, The Gambia, Trinidad & Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda, United Kingdom, Uruguay, United States of America, Uzbekistan, Vietnam, Zambia.