Relationships between entrepreneurship and economic crisis are difﬁ
establish. There is no consensus in the literature on how an economic crisis affects
entrepreneurial activities. For some authors like Filippetti and Archibugi (
situations of weak growth, recession or stagnation of GDP, can favor the discovery
of opportunities and innovation, while other authors consider that the slowdown of
the economy negatively affects entrepreneurial attitude, limiting the discovery of
opportunities and investment in innovation (Klapper and Love
). The destruc-
tion of industry during a slowdown or drop in GPD clearly implies a decrease in the
number of entrepreneurs or less activity from them, but this empirical ﬁ
to entrepreneurs in general and we know little about those who manage to maintain
or improve their performance in a time of crisis.
In this context, our research question is:
In situations of economic crisis, is innovation—as a distinctive feature of entre-
preneurship—the key element for obtaining satisfactory performance?
We used a secondary data source to assess the effects of the 2008 economic crisis
on the relationship between innovation and performance of business start-ups. The
database used for this purpose, that includes entrepreneurs who founded a new busi-
ness which we ask about, was the “Individual level data GEM 2009 APS Global”
from the Global Entrepreneurship Research Association (GEM). The GEM project
is an annual assessment of the entrepreneurial activity, aspirations, and attitudes of
individuals across a wide range of countries. This GEM initiative was initiated in
1999 as a partnership between London Business School and Babson College.
The years selected from the database for carrying out our study were 2004, 2005,
2006, 2007, and 2008, 4 years before the 2008 crisis and 2008. The analysis was
carried out jointly for 11 European countries and the USA (the USA, Netherlands,
France, Spain, Hungary, Italy, Rumania, Austria, Denmark, Sweden, Norwegian,
and Germany). The GDP was considered as a measure of the economic context of a
country, and the variation of the GDP between years, if negative, as the measure of
the deepness of the crisis in a speciﬁ
c country. The variation of the GDP of the
countries considered in this study is shown in Table
M. Peris-Ortiz et al.