Belarusian Economic Research and Outreach Center
 Radzivon Marozau, Maribel Guerrero, Yuliya Yafimenka

Global University Entrepreneurial Spirit Students’ Survey. National Report Republic of Belarus 2018

In December 2018 – January 2019, the second Global University Entrepreneurial Spirit Students’ Survey was conducted in the Republic of Belarus by Belarusian Economic Research and Outreach Center (BEROC). The same survey was performed in 54 countries from all around the world.

Despite recent policy measures related to the entrepreneurship development, in particularly in the higher education system, most of the indicators that proxy entrepreneurial intention, activities and their drivers have demonstrated the negative trend.

The key quantitative findings of the GUESSS in Belarus are:

  • 7.3% of students intend to start up a business as soon as they graduate; in five years after graduation – 47.5%, while the global average levels in 2018 were 9.0% and 34.7% respectively;
  • 22.2% of Belarusian students reported that they were trying to start their own business or to become self-employed, while the global average was 30.7%;
  • 4.3% of students are already running their own business or are self-employed, while the global average was 11.2%;
  • The perceived levels of the university entrepreneurial environment and entrepreneurial education appeared below the global average – 4.1 (35th position) and 4.0 (38th position) respectively;
  • The decreasing trends of the main indicators of the entrepreneurial intentions and activities are observed in the neighboring countries: Russia and Poland. At the same time, these changes imply the movement of Belarus towards the group of developed countries in which the levels of students’ entrepreneurial activities and intentions are consistently lower.
  • The percentage of students that have not attended to entrepreneurship courses has notably decreased (-6.7 percentage points) that is an outcome of the state policy targeted at the expansion of entrepreneurship-related education.
  • The nascent/active entrepreneur ration has increased from 3.8 in 2016 to 5.2 in 2018 meaning that students face external and internal challenges and barriers to transform their entrepreneurial intentions into entrepreneurial actions.

Similarly to the less developed countries, less developed Belarusian regions that seem to be permanently disadvantaged and regional universities are supposed to demonstrate a higher level of students’ entrepreneurial intentions and activities. 

Acknowledging mostly the necessity-driven nature of students’ entrepreneurship in less developed countries and regions, we argue that, in the periphery, established and new universities in Belarus could contribute to human capital development by attracting and retaining talents as well as become hubs for future entrepreneurial and innovation ecosystems. Policy efforts should be concentrated on promotion of the entrepreneurial environment and education in regional universities that would be in line with the regional development agenda.