GEN Announces Pioneering Entrepreneurial Mindset Study

Peter Komives | February 15, 2017
Photo Credit: Flickr: Ivan Clow


Mindset Study to Answer Questions to Help Create Best Practices for Entrepreneurial Ecosystems

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Global Entrepreneurship Network announced a new collaboration with the Allan Gray Orbis Foundation, in partnership with MindCette, to release a pioneering study on the underlying elements of an entrepreneurial mindset, starting with a pilot study of South African entrepreneurs.

The study will work to answer questions such as, “What is it that leads people to become entrepreneurs? What is the mindset that results in successful entrepreneurial action?”

To answer these questions, the Global Entrepreneurial Mindset Project was launched under the leadership of the Global Entrepreneurship Research Network (GERN) and the Allan Gray Orbis Foundation. The goal is to create a robust, evidence-based methodology for measuring entrepreneurial mindset in a region or a country.

“To develop a conclusive plan to best build a thriving, growing global entrepreneurial ecosystem, we first need to understand what drives people to start their own firm and the mindset of communities and cultures that foster successful entrepreneurship,” said Jonathan Ortmans, president of the Global Entrepreneurship Network. “This mindset study will not only provide invaluable insight into the South African entrepreneurial ecosystem but will also be a leading study for replication in other regions around the world.”

Fredell Jacobs, head of impact assurance at the Allan Gray Orbis Foundation, is overseeing the project, which is being developed by academic lead Professor Kelly Shaver, the founder of MindCette – a management consulting services organization that uses data-based dimensions to provide individualized entrepreneurial profiles – and Immanuel Commarmond, a special adviser to the Allan Gray Orbis Foundation.

The mindset project is intended to serve the entrepreneurship community by achieving the following outcomes:

  • Building a shared understanding of entrepreneurial mindset
  • Introducing a data-based system for assessing entrepreneurial mindset development
  • Revealing new insight about entrepreneurial mindset
  • Creating an objective, quantifiable methodology for measuring progress over time
  • Providing an evidence-based framework for developing recommendations for developing new policies and programs
  • Increasing entrepreneurial action around the world.

“Entrepreneurial mindset development is one of the cornerstones of how we teach entrepreneurship at the Allan Gray Orbis Foundation,” said Anthony Farr, chief executive officer of the Allan Gray Orbis Foundation. “This is one of the reasons why the Foundation supports this research which will eventually allow us to measure a national profile of entrepreneurship mindset.”

The study’s principal investigators – Jacobs, Commarmond and Shaver – will give a live presentation during the Global Entrepreneurship Congress in Johannesburg, South Africa, where initial results and analysis of the pilot study may be available.

For those interested in learning in more about the study’s design principles and methodology, as well as what conducting it in other countries would mean for startup ecosystems and the research communities that study them, are welcome to participate in the next GERN conference call on Wednesday, February 22 at 10:00 EST.

To join the GERN conference call, or for more information about GERN in general and the entrepreneurial mindset study in particular, please contact Peter Komives at

Peter Komives
Peter focuses on building the Global Entrepreneurship Network's capacity to impact entrepreneurship ecosystems around the world. For the Global... About the Author