Thinking about Starting Your Own Business? Check GEM First!

Posted on Aug 8, 2016

This shiny APP is made possible by Global Entrepreneurship Monitor  –  the world's foremost study of entrepreneurship who generously made their research data accessible to the public online.

Now  Click here to play the shiny App and have fun!

The code of the App can be found here.

Why Visualizing GEM?

As one of the most dynamic markets in the world, my homeland China, is now undergoing a huge economic transformation.  A friend once told me that almost everyone born after 95s’ in China is now thinking about starting his own business. Putting aside the credibility of this claim, his words indeed incited my interest in investigating the entrepreneurship environment in China. In searching for the answer I came across Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (“GEM”). They've been investigating this topic for more than 15 years! Looking at their public datasets, I initiated the idea of visualizing it, hoping this App will aid the future businessmen across the world when they do their initial researches about entrepreneurship.

How to Play?

Step 1: From a global point of view, which countries are most optimistic and passionate about entrepreneurship?

Screen Shot 2016-08-08 at 3.04.57 PM Screen Shot 2016-08-08 at 3.08.38 PM

If you are interested in entrepreneurship, the first thing you may want to know is, is there high opportunity to start a business in a certain country (probably your own country)? You can check the global overview tab, there I selected 4 most import ratios for you to visualize.

For example, in this screenshot of the app I selected the tab "Global Overview" and then "Perceived Opportunities", and the App shows a corresponding map with darker color representing higher perceived opportunities. If you click on the map, the country name and specific statistic will pop out. (Note that countries colored grey are those ones outside the scope of  GEM 2015 survey)


Step 2: Compare countries in terms of entrepreneurship environment.

Screen Shot 2016-08-08 at 3.10.54 PM Screen Shot 2016-08-08 at 3.11.05 PM

Ok. Now you have an overall idea about where are the hottest zones in terms of starting a new business, but you may now start to wonder, can I really do this in my country? Will the government support me? Can I find a place to build the factory? How will people think about me if I really quit my job and start a small business?

From a GEM point of view, these factors are called Entrepreneurial Framework Conditions (EFCs). They are the conditions in an Economy that would either enhance or hinder the cultivation of new businesses. I've put them all on a radar chart, you can choose whatever countries of your interest to plot. By observing the shape of the polygons, you can clearly see which countries' are advantaged and which are disadvantaged with respect to entrepreneurship.


Step 3: Rank the countries by the ratios you think are important.

Screen Shot 2016-08-08 at 3.47.17 PM

Rank, rank, rank. It's not a valid infographic if it does not contain ranks. So here I provide the choices for you to create your own rank! Simply slide to choose the top n's you want to show, and choose 2 ratios of your interest, you'll get 2 colorful bar charts showing the ranks that you want to examine.


Last Step: If you really want to dig into the raw data.

Screen Shot 2016-08-08 at 3.51.00 PM

To create this App, I used 2 datasets downloaded from GEM, they are the National Expert Survey(NES) 2015 and Adult Population Survey(APS) 2015, for convenience of the users, I embedded the two data tables inside the App.  You can scroll, search any data you want, and if you are really interested, you can always go to GEM's official website.

Additional: R code.

This is only parts of the app code, again, full code of the App can be found here.

About Author


Danli Zeng is a young professional with 5 years' experience in MARKETING and MEDIA. She was specialized in integrated media planning and ROMI analysis for FMCG industry. Having worked on all sides of agency, media and client, she...
View all posts by Danli >

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