Spain Regains the Momentum of Innovative Entrepreneurship Prior to the Pandemic

The new 2021-2022 edition of the report by the Observatory of Entrepreneurship in Spain (also known as RED GEM Spain) and ENISA (National Innovation Company) in collaboration with the Mapfre Observatory of Sustainable Finance and the Secretary of State for Digitalisation and Artificial Intelligence is presented.

What is the Spanish entrepreneur like? What sectors are startups innovating in? These are some of the questions that the report answers.

What is the Spanish entrepreneur like?

  • For the first time, the gender gap has been broken. According to the statistics of the South Summit Entrepreneurship Map 2021, the predominant profile of the Spanish founder was a man in 80% of the entrepreneurial projects. However, the latest GEM Report shows an increase in the number of women involved in entrepreneurial initiatives less than three and a half years old (5.6%), a higher percentage than men (5.4%), and an increase in all phases of the entrepreneurial process, although it is still much lower in projects with a higher technological level.

  • Age: the average age of the Spanish entrepreneur is between 35 and 54 years old.

  • Training: training is increasingly higher. 98% of Spanish entrepreneurs have at least a university degree, with 78% having completed a master's degree.

What are startups like in Spain?

  • Longevity: according to South Summit's Entrepreneurship Map 2021, the average age of the startups surveyed is 2.7 years.

  • Size: the majority of entrepreneurial initiatives are micro-companies with fewer than 5 employees. However, there is an increase in the size of consolidated companies.

  • Founders: approximately 60% of the start-ups surveyed were created by 2 or 3 founders.

  • Stage: 62% have already launched a product or service in the market, 50% have succeeded in generating revenue and 12% claim to have achieved a positive Ebitda. Startups located in the scaleup stage are growing.

  • Funding: 64% are financed with their own resources, 15% resort to the 3 F's, 17% to private capital and 4% to public capital. More than 70% of entrepreneurial initiatives are set up with less than 30,000 euros of capital.

What do startups innovate in?

28% of recent entrepreneurial initiatives (TEA) innovate in product and/or process, mainly in their local area and in the service and transformation sectors.

Mark Kavelaars, CEO of IVC and Founder of Swanlaab, told us in the Webinar “The Entrepreneurship Challenge: Overcoming the Valley of Death” his vision of the Spanish entrepreneurial ecosystem for the coming years.

"I think we are on the right track. As one of the founders of Swanlaab said: "success calls for success"; and we are already seeing the first successes. We are seeing projects flourish with great reputation and recognition, not only in Spain, but also abroad in the last 34 years.

You see how many young people are deciding to follow the entrepreneurial path and a young company is changing how entrepreneurs launch their businesses. More and more investors are paying attention to innovation, willing to take risks with entrepreneurs. Everything is maturing, and maturing at a very good speed, so I remain tremendously optimistic.

I think the best is yet to come, but we already have many very positive signs from the innovation sector, from entrepreneurship, from start-ups... In the coming years, Spain is going to be a huge generator of employment and, moreover, very well-prepared employment.

I am tremendously excited, so I can only give you very good news."

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