Interest in Entrepreneurship - A study about how Covid-19 affected the Entrepreneurial environment in the European Union
Abstract: This study aims to investigate how the Covid-19 pandemic affected the entrepreneurial environment in the European Union, selecting a representative sample of eight countries (Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and The Netherlands). Research published at the beginning of the pandemic projected losses in GDP and an increasing unemployment rate due to a socio-economic shock. This study further explores the context developed due to the spreading of Covid-19 two years after the start of the pandemic. Furthermore, the paper looks into how the shock caused by the virus and its implications has affected the general public interest in entrepreneurship. Lastly, the effect of the Covid-19 pandemic on the actual number of new businesses launched is investigated. The research approach in this study is a quantitative one using secondary data collected from publically available websites, such as OECD, Eurostat and Google trends. The data were analysed through, regression, trend and correlation analysis. The conclusions that can be drawn from the analysis of the secondary data is that: unemployment rates in the eight countries did indeed go up during the pandemic and the GDP, as projected, decreased. Regarding the interest in Entrepreneurship, there was no significant correlation between the interest in Entrepreneurship and the Covid-19 virus. In fact, there was only a slight decrease in searches for topics related to Entrepreneurship during the pandemic. Lastly, the study can conclude that the pandemic did indeed have an impact on the number of new business registrations. At the beginning of the pandemic, the number was affected negatively, and then bounced back to the same level or higher than before the pandemic in seven out of the eight countries investigated.
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