The Total early-stage Entrepreneurial Activity (TEA) index for Lleida province now stands at 8.00%, a value slightly lower than the TEA for Catalonia as a whole (8.13%), but considerably higher than that of Spain (6.39%) and at exactly the same level as the European value (8.00%).

The TEA indices in the other provinces of Catalonia are as follows: Barcelona 8.63%, Girona 6.58%, Tarragona 6.20%.

In every society, it is the emergence and implementation of new ideas that should be the driving force behind the goals of greater wealth and added value. Entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial initiative play vital roles in this respect. Fully aware of this, public administrations are continually searching for ways to encourage and incentivize economic agents and entrepreneurial ecosystems, striving towards knowledge-based economies which generate added value and greater wealth in a sustainable manner.

The entrepreneurial ecosystem in Catalonia is fast establishing itself as one of the most effective technological hubs in Europe, facilitating the creation of start-ups, attracting new talent and overseeing the installation of centres of technology and innovation by major multinational companies.

The TEA index in Catalonia continues to rise, standing now at 8.13%, 1.74 points above that of Spain (6.39%) and 0.13 points higher than the European-wide score (8.00%).

This is the main conclusion of the latest Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) report for Catalonia (Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) – Catalonia 2018-2019), promoted by the Catalunya Emprèn network of the Department of Business and Knowledge of the Government of Catalonia and the Provincial Council of Barcelona. The report was jointly drawn up by the Barcelona Institute of Regional and Metropolitan Studies and the Department of Enterprise of the Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB).

 

Sustained entrepreneurial growth

The TEA index shows that 8.13% of the Catalan adult population were involved in early-stage start-up activities in 2018.

In terms of motivation, opportunity-driven entrepreneurship stands at 4.3%, 1.5 points above Spain (2.8%) and higher than the indices for the high-income European countries (3.9%).

With respect to need-driven entrepreneurship, where the motivation lies in the inability of a person to find employment, the 2018 index records a score of 1.4%, 0.6 points less than the previous year and noticeably lower than the corresponding values for Spain (1.7%) and the high-income European countries (1.7%).

In Catalonia, setting up a business is considered a good professional option by more than half the adult population (58%), five points higher than the overall score for Spain as a whole (53%) and only just below that of the high-income EU countries (69%).

As for business opportunity detection, the percentage of Catalans who see such opportunities fell by 5 points from the previous year to 32%, slowing down the overall progression in this respect made in recent years and bringing the value closer to the Spanish average of 29%. This score is also some way short of the 45.8% recorded for the high-income European countries. Nonetheless, 7.5% of the total adult population were found to have the intention of conducting an entrepreneurial activity, representing an increase over the previous year of 0.8 points. In this respect, Catalonia remains above the average value for Spain as whole (6.8%). The corresponding values for all EU countries and the high-income EU countries are 13.9% and 20.4%, respectively.

 

Profile of business entrepreneurs

If broken down by age, the so-called pre-stage entrepreneurs (individuals planning to start ventures) are on average 38 years old, the early-stage entrepreneurs (with ventures less than 3 years old) 41 years old, and the late-stage entrepreneurs (ventures with more than 3 years in existence) 49 years old.

In Catalonia, the TEA score is similar for young (18-34) and adult (35-64) entrepreneurs (8% and 8.2%, respectively). These values are higher than that for Spain (6%), but considerably lower than the EU average of 11.8%.

By gender, the TEA score for males is 8.6% and for females 7.7%. Importantly, the TEA score for females is just 0.3% below that for the high-income EU countries (8.00%), having progressively increased from its 2013 value of 4.8%.

 

An entrepreneurial environment on the rise

According to the latest GEM report, Catalan entrepreneurs believe the level of infrastructure is good, both in terms of services provided and in terms of physical, commercial and professional services. The overall mark that is given with respect to the conditions of the entrepreneurial environment in Catalonia (56.7 points) has improved compared to 2017 (53.3 points) and is higher than the EU mark (55.7). In this respect, it should also be noted that the entrepreneurial support programmes promoted by public institutions, including GLOBALleida, are highly regarded.

Among the numerous GLOBALleida activities, special mention should be made of the E2 programme ‘School for Entrepreneurs’, which aims to promote the entrepreneurial spirit among young students, the professional advice service for entrepreneurs, the business consolidation programmes ‘T’Acompanyem’ and ‘Lleida StartUp’ aimed at SMEs and start-ups, training activities, and the research funding for studies on olive oil, wine, pigs, and adventure sports with the aim of improving the competitiveness of Lleida companies.

The entrepreneurial ecosystem in Catalonia is fast establishing itself as one of the most effective technological hubs in Europe, facilitating the creation of start-ups, attracting new talent and overseeing the installation of centres of technology and innovation by major multinational companies.

The main factors that attract foreign eyes to Catalonia are the availability of high-quality but low-cost talent (as is, for example, the case of engineers – and with lower rates of turnover than in other ecosystems), the quality of life in terms of climate and geography, and a communication network with links to all the main European capitals. 

 

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