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One piece of research that  liked very much at the RENT conference in Bodo was that of Tatiana Iokavleka : “Entrepreneurial intentions in post-soviet economies”. She conducted a research in 4 countries and asked 583 respondents a single question: “What is the single biggest barrier for you to become an entrepreneur?”

Interestingly, for all 4 countries, 4 answers came back over and over again and contributed 60% of the results : risk aversion, lack of capital, lack of motivation, lack of knowledge.

More interesting however were the differences Tatiana found between innovation-driven (developed) and efficiency-driven (developing) countries. Lack of motivation was for instance significantly higher in developed countries than in developing countries, suggesting perhaps that the cultural and political (communist) background plays a role in the willingness to start its own business.

My take:

What do we do in eastern Europe to tackle those hurdles and make sure we sustain innovation?

This presentation remembered me of a Romanian friend of mine who, besides his job as a manager in a well-known company, detected an opportunity and find smart ways to exploit it. This opportunity revolves around the Romanian community of Brussels and I must admit I’m impressed by his energy to start highly visible venture.


Author: Pierre-Nicolas Schwab

Dr. Pierre-Nicolas Schwab is the founder of IntoTheMinds. He specializes in e-commerce, retail and logistics. He is also a research fellow in the marketing department of the Free University of Brussels and acts as a coach for several startups and public organizations. He holds a PhD in Marketing, a MBA in Finance, and a MSc in Chemistry. He can be contacted by email, Linkedin or by phone (+32 486 42 79 42)

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