By Claire West

The Global Entrepreneur Indicator survey, published by the Entrepreneurs' Organization and The Standard Chartered Private Bank, was designed to take the pulse of the entrepreneurial community, identifying benchmarks and trends affecting business and the economy. More than any other population, industry or common benchmark, the world’s leading entrepreneurs can help explain and predict the state of the global economy.

The survey is one of the activities resulting from the strategic partnership between the two organizations, which will enable them to leverage their unique networks to exchange knowledge and conduct in-depth, powerful joint research projects.

A snapshot of the findings includes:

• The majority of entrepreneurs globally (80%) believe the economic environment in their country will improve or remain the same over the coming quarter, with over one third (34%) expecting the economy to improve.

o In contrast, entrepreneurs in Europe are notably less optimistic with only 70% believing the economic environment will improve or remain the same and just over a quarter (27%) believing it will improve in the coming quarter.

• Almost two thirds (63%) of entrepreneurs in Europe believe the integration of entrepreneurship in the education system needs improvement. The region lags behind its global peers, with the exception of Asia, in effectiveness of the region’s investments in research and development in generating new business opportunities.

• Over the coming 12 months, almost all entrepreneurs globally (96%) predict the number of people they employ will increase or remain the same, with over three quarters (76%) predicting an increase in employment.

• Despite an overall stagnant prediction on the current economy and the current regulatory environment, many entrepreneurs maintain a positive outlook on starting a business in their home country — although they are less likely to recommend that foreigners do business in their country.

According to Michael Conway, President of EO in the UK and managing director, Quayside Group “This research is particularly interesting to existing and future entrepreneurs in the UK because it highlights untapped potential. With the right investment in education, and the right ecosystem to support growing businesses, Britain could become an entrepreneurial powerhouse.” Conway continued, “British and European entrepreneurs often look to the US West coast when it comes to shining examples of success, but I believe it’s time we started looking in our own backyard.”

What separates the Global Entrepreneur Indicator from other studies is its unique ability to target only leading entrepreneurs — those successful, innovative and flexible businesses that provide the best basis for predictions about the global economy. Each of the Global Entrepreneur Indicator respondents is the founder, co-founder, owner or controlling shareholder of a business that grosses more than US$1 million annually. The average respondent’s business has annual revenues of US$18.4 million and employs 191 people.

The Global Entrepreneur Indicator was designed to gather insights into as many of these unique areas as possible, including job data, profits, exposure to debt, investments and growth industries, among others. This data provides a comprehensive look into the global economy and serves as a leading indicator which can be used to predict trends affecting economic growth around the world.

The Global Entrepreneur Indicator produces findings that reflect global data and trends, as well as regional reports tailored to reflect the state of entrepreneurship in the United States, Europe, Asia, Canada and Australia. All findings, reports and analysis are published on the Global Entrepreneur Indicator Web site.

"This study mines an often elusive population of extremely successful business owners, those who are most often at the forefront in leading economic growth and recovery through their innovation and drive," said Sally Ernst, the lead researcher on the Global Entrepreneur Indicator initiative. "The data gathered here and in subsequent studies will serve as an important device for leaders of industry and government to use as a predictor of economic trends around the world."

The strategic alliance will allow The Private Bank to gain insights into entrepreneurs globally. The Private Bank, in return, aims to act as a valuable resource for entrepreneurs, bringing to the alliance access to investment advice, economic outlooks and insights into areas of importance such as business succession planning and networking opportunities with other organizations in the entrepreneurial space.

"This alliance further underlines our commitment to entrepreneurs. Understanding young business owners is key to our future business success," commented Shayne Nelson, CEO and Global Head of the Private Bank. "This partnership allows us to share our investment knowledge with and provide support to entrepreneurs. Our aim is to become an invaluable resource to entrepreneurs globally by sharing knowledge and creating programs that will help them develop their businesses even further.