The Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) noted the unprecedented impact of the pandemic on the business sector in 2020. At the same time, one fifth of the Russian survey participants claim that under the pressure of the covid crisis, they were able to find new opportunities for business development.
The GEM is the world's leading entrepreneurship survey that assesses the level of business activity at the national level annually. In 2020, 54 countries took part in the monitoring. In Russia, the project is being implemented by the research group of the Graduate School of Management of St. Petersburg University (GSOM SPbU) with the support of Sberbank.
Olga Verkhovskaya, Head of the GEM project in Russia, Associate Professor of the Department of Strategic and International Management at GSOM SPbU, noted: “In February, when our international team gathered online to exchange the first research data, we agreed that COVID-19 was recognized an event that has no analogues in 22 years of the project's existence: neither in the degree of surprise, nor in the globality of the consequences. Therefore, the data we are presenting now is unique in its kind and reflects the impact of the pandemic on the business environment. In June 2021, we will present traditional data on entrepreneurial activity.”
Despite the difficulties caused by the pandemic, some entrepreneurs were able to transform their businesses. The share of those who saw new business opportunities in Russia was 20% of the surveyed entrepreneurs, in Spain and Germany - 24%, in South Korea - 7%.
According to the survey results, 63% of respondents-entrepreneurs in the Russian Federation indicated that it has become more difficult to conduct operational activities, but 20% did not notice serious changes for the worse. 18% were able to realize the new opportunities opened up as a result of the pandemic, and 72% did not have any new activities.
The crisis had a negative impact on those who take their first steps towards starting a business. 55% of aspiring entrepreneurs in Russia indicated that the restrictions associated with the pandemic have delayed the implementation of their plans. This figure is better than among entrepreneurs in some other countries. So, in Italy it was 91%, in the USA - 63%, in India - 84%, in Brazil - 72%.
As expected, the pandemic had a tragic effect on those who were just planning to open a business. 91% of Russian respondents said the pandemic had a negative impact on their intentions to start a business, and 74% indicated that the impact was critical. 42% of respondents noted that they personally know those who had to close their business. Only 13% are familiar with those who have managed to take advantage of new opportunities to start their own business.
Global Entrepreneurship Monitor was founded in 1999 as a joint project of Babson College, USA and London Business School, UK. Today it is an association of universities, business schools and research centers around the world to collect and share information about entrepreneurial activity. GEM is the most influential research project on the phenomenon of entrepreneurship and its cross-national indicators.