The Long Road to the Entrepreneurial Society - Global Entrepreneurship Monitor 2001, Netherlands

Posted: 24 Nov 2009

See all articles by Heleen Stigter

Heleen Stigter

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Niels Bosma

affiliation not provided to SSRN

S. Wennekers

EIM Netherlands - Business and Policy Research

Date Written: 2002


The Global Entrepreneurship Monitor(GEM)—designed to be a long-term, multinational project—examines therelationship between entrepreneurship and economic growth, using a standardizedresearch methodology for each country. The national teams in each of theparticipating countries assemble three sets of data: (1) specially- designedsurveys of the adult population in each GEM country; (2) in-depth interviewswith experts on entrepreneurship in each country; and (3) a wide selection ofnational data from a variety of sources. Three key points underpin the GEMresearch: (a) whether the level of entrepreneurial activity varies betweencountries and, if so, to what extent; (b) whether the level of entrepreneurialactivity affects a country's rate of economic growth and prosperity; and (c)what makes a country entrepreneurial. This analysis of entrepreneurship in the Netherlandsfocuses primarilyon two entrepreneurial framework conditions: attitudes to entrepreneurship andthe role of the educational system. The findings suggest that the attitudestoward entrepreneurship are more positive than 20 years ago, although mostDutch people do not consider entrepreneurship a serious career goal. The Dutcheducation system still doesn't pay enough attention to raise awareness toentrepreneurship as a career alternative. The experts regarded the following aspects of the Dutch entrepreneurialclimate as most favorable: availability of financial capital, positive attitudeof young people toward labor mobility, access to physical infrastructure, anddiminished regulatory barriers to entrepreneurship. The least favorable aspectswere determined to be: the transfer of knowledge from universities to new andsmall enterprises, administrative barriers for business start-ups, and lowencouragement of the welfare state and educational system towardself-initiative and self-sufficiency. Moreover, as the results show, although the number of annual businessstart-ups has doubled in the Netherlands since 1987, the extent to which peopleare involved in setting up businesses is still low by international standards,but Dutch nascent entrepreneurs have a relatively high chance tosucceed. Despite positive steps toward promoting entrepreneurship, such as theNational Program on Entrepreneurship and Education, and the government’sinvestment in improving the institutional environment for business start-ups,the study concludes that the distance to an entrepreneurial society is still along one in the Netherlands. Recommendations are made for using and developingits resources systematically offered by the government, as well as theentrepreneurial talent and energy available in the country, to fulfill themission of entrepreneurship.(CBS)

Keywords: Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM), National Program on Entrepreneurship and Education, Entrepreneurship education, Nascent entrepreneurs, Entrepreneurial environment, Startups, Knowledge transfer, Venture capital, Economic development, Gender, Access to capital, Public policies

Suggested Citation

Stigter, Heleen and Bosma, Niels and Wennekers, Sander, The Long Road to the Entrepreneurial Society - Global Entrepreneurship Monitor 2001, Netherlands (2002). University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign's Academy for Entrepreneurial Leadership Historical Research Reference in Entrepreneurship. Available at SSRN:

Heleen Stigter (Contact Author)

affiliation not provided to SSRN

No Address Available

Niels Bosma

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Sander Wennekers

EIM Netherlands - Business and Policy Research ( email )

Postbus 7001
2701 AA Zoetermeer
31 79 3413634 (Phone)

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