Global Entrepreneurship Monitor: Trinidad and Tobago 2010 Report

Karen Murdock, Colin McDonald, Jan Joseph, Akosua Edwards, Jorge Miguel Carrillo

Research output: Book/ReportReportResearch

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Based on more than 2000 interviews conducted between April and July 2010 in both Trinidad and
Tobago, in the form of the Adult Population Survey (APS) and approximately 65 interviews in the
form of the National Expert Survey (NES), the 2010 GEM report for Trinidad and Tobago represents
the most comprehensive assessment of entrepreneurship ever conducted in this country. In 2010,
59 countries participated in GEM. These countries are organised into three groups based on levels
of economic development as defined by the World Economic Forum (WEF) as follows: factor-driven,
efficiency-driven and innovation-driven economies. Trinidad and Tobago is among the 24 middle income efficiency-driven economies.
This report makes comparison between Trinidad and Tobago and other countries in the efficiency-driven grouping. In some cases comparison is made to other Latin American countries, Jamaica, and
with the USA, which is a member of the innovation-driven group.
In measuring entrepreneurial activity, GEM included four phases in the entrepreneurial process:
potential, nascent, new and established entrepreneurs. Much of the report focuses on nascent and
new businesses which make up the Total Early-Stage Entrepreneurial Activity (TEA). Trinidad and
Tobago has a Total Early-Stage Entrepreneurial Activity (TEA) rate of 15.1% and is in the 6th highest
level among efficiency-driven economies and 48th among the 59 countries.
Despite the recent global downturns in economic activities, many entrepreneurs (69.1%) in Trinidad
and Tobago believe they have good opportunities for starting a business in the next six months.
Individuals saw entrepreneurship as attractive and have relatively low fear of failure rates (11.6%)
compared to other efficiency-driven economies where the average is 31.7%.
Trinidad and Tobago has a very low level of necessity-driven entrepreneurship but a relatively high
level of mix-motive (39%) entrepreneurial activity. Although more males than females are involved
in entrepreneurship, the difference is relatively small, signalling a narrowing of the traditional
gender gap in entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurial activities are most pronounced in the 35-44 age
group which is similar to many other countries.
The national expert survey indicates that the country is doing very badly in terms of research
and development. In fact, it indicates that support in the area of research and development
for entrepreneurial activities is virtually non-existent. Fifty-nine percent (59%) of the experts
indicated that the physical infrastructure, in terms of roads, electricity, utilities, and communication
are supportive to growing firms. However, only twelve percent (12%) of the experts indicate the
commercial and services infrastructure are supportive to growing firms.
The perception of the experts closely reflects the findings of the WEF global competitiveness survey
2009-2010 in which Trinidad and Tobago’s capacity for innovation in the business sector is rather
Original languageEnglish
PublisherUniversity of the West Indies (UWI), St. Augustine Campus
Number of pages64
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes


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