To analyze the phenomenon of entrepreneurship it has to be defined and assessed. Earlier research has relied on the category “self-employment” to quantify entrepreneurship. But the vast majority of the self-employed are neither innovative nor growth-oriented. In this category you find for example, plumbers, taxi drivers, dentists and consultants, which differ markedly from for example contractors.
In this project, we compare countries, geographic regions, and companies from both a self-employment perspective and an entrepreneurship perspective. Our study shows that regions and companies with a high proportion of self-employed tend to have a lower degree of entrepreneurship. The method to measure innovative entrepreneurship that we have constructed shows clearly that entrepreneurship is more negatively affected by taxes, regulations, and weak institutions compared to self-employment. In our study, we emanate from 12 research issues, where self-employment as a measurement of entrepreneurship, gives us misleading results.