The Faculty of Management participated in a research of COVID-19 impact on entrepreneurship

Research teams from more than 50 countries joined the Faculty of Management of the Comenius University, which is the national coordinator of the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) in Slovakia (GEM's main partner is the Slovak Business Agency), to investigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on entrepreneurship.


30. 09. 2020 11.11 hod.
By: CU Public Relations Office

They emphasized the use of policies and tools for economic recovery. The results of the research were summarized in the publication  Diagnosing COVID-19 Impacts on Entrepreneurship - Exploring Policy Remedies for Recovery (https://www.gemconsortium.org/reports/covid-impact-report). In the report the research teams share their governments' responses to COVID-19, compare them to previous crises and present their perspective on entrepreneurship policies.

The research conclusions of the 54 national teams consist of key findings which the policy makers should consider as guiding principles in the future. These principles are summarised under the acronym of CRISP:

  • Clear and concise communication of policies is a must, if a maximum number of entrepreneurs are to benefit from policies favourable to entrepreneurship.
  • Resilience and responsibility in public policy help to stimulate both start-up activity and the growth of existing companies. Flexibility requires robustness in policymaking by adopting a holistic and multidimensional approach (i.e. the GEM diagnostic tool - Entrepreneurial Framework Conditions, explained below). Responsibility involves adopting long-term policy thinking (not restrained by parliamentary terms) and taking measures that are based on thorough analysis and data on the needs of entrepreneurs and gaps in the entrepreneurial ecosystem. This is extremely important because sometimes political decisions - even if they produce economic benefits - can have unintended social and environmental side effects that are harmful.
  • Innovating by deploying new processes, tools and procedures to design and develop policies that result in superior solutions of current and future complex issues faced by the society and ultimately help entrepreneurs grasp opportunities better.
  • Simplifying policies is important so that new entrants from the informal sector in particular will be able to navigate the new, formal business context that they have entered.
  • Preparation, since policymakers would do well to spend time preparing for a potential new wave of the pandemic.

The report evaluates the countries' entrepreneurship conditions, specifically the nine pillars identified by GEM which can either stimulate economic activity or slow it down. These include access to business finance, government policy in support of entrepreneurship, start-up support programs, entrepreneurship education at primary and secondary level, research and development that supports new enterprises, business and professional infrastructure, ease of entry, physical infrastructure and socio-cultural norms.

However, the successful application of these principles by entrepreneurship policymakers at the national level must also be based on thorough knowledge of entrepreneurial activity, behaviour, as well as the social determinants (restrictions) of enterprise and framework entrepreneurial conditions. The results of the GEM research in Slovakia show a long-term high initial entrepreneurial activity, which exceeds the European average (13.3% in the Slovak Republic, 9.2% in Europe). It consists mainly of startups (operating less than 3 months), of which only 45% move to the next stage of enterprise development (3-42 months), while in Europe 67% of startups achieve this next level. Slovakia also lags behind Europe in the percentage of established entrepreneurs (over 42 months). One of the possible factors affecting this development which has long been identified by experts is a lack of government policies and programs aimed at supporting entrepreneurship; this is where Slovakia significantly lags behind Europe. On the other hand, Slovakia is slightly above the European average in terms of the quality of its physical infrastructure and services. Based on the results of the research, it can be assumed that the recovery of entrepreneurial activity which has been threatened by COVID-19 would be greatly helped by focusing on a better level of its support through government policies and programs.

The results of the research relating to Slovakia are on pages 164 - 165 of the report.