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.

Fifty-six percent 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.

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

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