GEM 2016 How is Panama in terms of Entrepreneurship?


GEM 2016 presentation at City of knowledge

Last Wednesday we attended to GEM(Global Entrepreneurship Monitor) 2016 presentation at City of knowledge.

What is GEM?

GEM is a study that measures entrepreneurship in the country.

How they get that?

The GEM 2016 results were obtained through a survey of the adult population. They considered the following things:

  1. Adults 18 to 64 years old.
  2. Urban and rural areas, except indigenous communities and Darien.
  3. Proportional sample at province, district and district level.

At the end, they made a total of 2015 interviews, with a maximum error of +/- 2.15 and 95% of reliability.

What are the different stages of entrepreneurship in Panama?

Within the event, they showed a picture similar to the one that is below in this text, called “La tubería empresarial en Panamá” this picture attracted my attention because of the low percentage of entrepreneurs who managed to establish their own business for more than 3 years.

Tuberia empresarial en Panama

Other important details were

  • Most of Panamanians are entrepreneurs because they see an opportunity not because they have a need.
  • 48% think they have the knowledge, skills, and experience required to start a new business.
  • 52% of respondents indicate that when a business is 5 years old, the business will have between1to 5 employees.
  • Entrepreneurs who do not have clients outside the country totaled 64%.
  • 43.1% consider that it is easy doing business in Panama.

Experts interviews

Interviews were conducted with experts init different categories. The results were:

  • Lack of education and training are the most difficult stages in becoming an entrepreneur, with a valuation of 3.1, on a scale of 10.
  • Access to physical infrastructure is still the aspect that most facilitates the activity obtaining a rating of 7.15, according to experts, a new company has quick access to basic services and can very well afford the cost of these services.

To read the complete results of GEM 2016. Clic here.


In Panama, entrepreneurship concept is well seen and accepted, according to the results of the survey, however, few people are able to establish their own business.

I think that one of the most important points because the previous statement happens is the lack of education in subjects like entrepreneurship, including finance. Starting a business is not an easy task, it requires an investment of time, money, effort and a lot of discipline. When you are an entrepreneur you have to work even more than if you were working for another company.

Another very important part the finances. Making a projection plan, seeing if your business is profitable, are things that should be known by anyone who wants to be an entrepreneur.

If the government focus on educating the people, I think that it would benefit to all of us like a community, generating significant progress to the country in the future.

And you … What do you think about the outcomings of the GEM 2016?




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