Our survey says Insight readers are more entrepreneurial than the global average


Sixty-six percent of adults see entrepreneurship as a good career choice, and more than half of the working-age population feel they have the ability to start a business – according to the GEM 2015 Global Report.

But a recent snapshot of Insight magazine readers found that they have an even more entrepreneurial streak, with:

  • 78% saying they want to run their own business in the future and a further 19% saying they wish to both run their own businesses and work as an employee.

  • 56% of respondents are currently in business for themselves, with a further 19% both working for someone else and running their own businesses, making 75% of them entrepreneurs.

  • 15% t of readers who responded are currently working for someone else, but only 4% want to do so in the future.

Research shows that entrepreneurialism is strongest in countries that share the English common law tradition – five times higher than those with a French legal origin.

In a 2015 article for the law firm Covington and Burling LLP, practice lawyer Adele Faure compared rates of tech start ups in Francophone and Anglophone countries, writing: “Generally, there is a consensus that the tech sectors in Francophone Sub-Saharan Africa have significantly lagged behind their Anglophone counterparts.”

This slower rate of technological entrepreneurship was attributed to a number of reasons, particularly greater funding constraints than Anglophone entrepreneurs experience. Faure concluded that “… it might not just be the tech sector: the economies of English-speaking African countries are growing faster and tend to have better World Bank Doing Business indicators than their Francophone equivalents.”

GEM’s research in ten sub-Saharan countries (Angola, Botswana, Ethiopia, Ghana, Malawi, Namibia, Nigeria, South Africa, Uganda and Zambia) presents a generally positive picture.

Entrepreneurs in the region have an extremely low fear of failure – only 24 per cent say that fear of failure would prevent them starting a business. This is far lower than elsewhere in the world – only Latin America and the Caribbean come close (28 per cent).

Interestingly, Africans often perceive entrepreneurship more positively than people elsewhere in the world. In Botswana, for example, 76 per cent of people regard entrepreneurship as a good career choice. The average in Europe is 58 per cent. Similarly, in Ghana 91 per cent of people say that successful entrepreneurs are granted high status. In Europe the figure is 69 per cent.


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