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One in two Cypriots finds it easy to start a business, survey finds

Half of Cypriots consider starting a business easy, while more than half believe they have the skills needed for a successful entrepreneurship, according to the results of the 'Global Entrepreneurship Monitor' (GEM) survey, presented at an event at the University of Cyprus.

Cyprus participated for the seventh consecutive year in the international entrepreneurship survey, with the University of Cyprus describing the country's participation as "particularly important", as it creates comparable data on entrepreneurship in Cyprus, placing it on the global map of entrepreneurship and innovation.

According to a UCy press release, the GEM results, as derived from a sample of more than 2,000 respondents in Cyprus, paint an "encouraging picture regarding Cypriots' views on overall business activity and the wider business environment in the country."

The results of the survey show that 52.7% of the population believe that they have the skills needed for successful entrepreneurship, while 48.4% believe that starting a business is easy. Only 26.8% of the population believe that there are business opportunities in the area where they live, a decrease of 23.4% compared to the previous year. In addition, Cypriots appear increasingly familiar with entrepreneurship, with 82.4% of respondents saying they know an entrepreneur. Over time, 50% of the population report a "fear of failure" from entrepreneurship which is partly due to a lack of entrepreneurial and risk-taking culture.

The advanced stage entrepreneurship index has decreased compared to the previous year (from 8.6% to 5.7%), while for early-stage enterprises (<42 months) the index is 8.3%, with a tendency to stabilise in recent years. On the contrary, early-stage entrepreneurs register a higher sensitivity to the social and environmental impacts of their business activity, compared to the previous year.

The physical infrastructure, commercial and services infrastructure, as well as government policies related to taxes and bureaucracy are recognised as strengths of the Cyprus business ecosystem.

The presentation of the results of the survey was followed by a round table discussion on "Women's participation in early stage entrepreneurship in Cyprus", moderated by Associate Professor Alexia Panayiotou, UNESCO Chair for Gender Equality and Women's Empowerment at the University of Cyprus.

During the discussion, a number of issues related to women's entrepreneurship emerged, such as the long-standing existence of the gender gap and ways to address it, the possibilities of developing actions and infrastructure to support the family and the real fear of failure, which is more socially pressing for women.

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