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Babson’s Shay Named Chairman of Global Entrepreneurship Monitor · Babson Thought & Action

Babson College Entrepreneurship Professor Jeffrey P. Shay ’87, MBA’91 has been named president of the Global Entrepreneurship Research Association (GERA), marking the first time a Babson member has held this esteemed position since the organization’s founding.

Shay’s journey with GERA, the organization that oversees the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM), goes back to the roots of the project itself. Professor Emeritus William D. Bygrave, one of the project’s founders and a mentor to Shay, proposed that the professor serve as a national expert on entrepreneurship shortly after Shay received his doctorate from Cornell University in 1999.

Jeffrey P. Shay ’87, MBA’91 will serve a three-year term as GEM chairman.

Reflecting on his journey, Shay expressed his gratitude for the opportunity to contribute, saying, “It was such an honor when Bill reached out to me as a recent PhD graduate to join the project.”

GEM began in 1999 as a joint research project between Babson College and London Business School and has since grown into an ongoing source of detailed information on entrepreneurial ecosystems around the world. The consortium annually publishes the GEM Global Report and a series of national and special reports, such as the United States Report and the Women’s Entrepreneurship Report.

Shay’s involvement with the GEM Report spans years, initially as a national expert and later as a member of the GEM Board of Directors and co-leader of GEM United States with Babson Entrepreneurship Chair Donna Kelley. Shay is also executive director for academic operations at the Arthur M. Blank School for Entrepreprenurial Leadership.

“I always thought it would be great to be involved with the team and get a behind-the-scenes look,” Shay noted, underscoring his desire to deepen his involvement with GEM upon his return to Babson in 2021 .

Make a bigger impact

While discussing the future, Shay emphasized the importance of leveraging GEM’s platform to drive meaningful impact.

“With the transition to online surveys and the expansion of data collection efforts, we are poised to make significant progress in understanding global entrepreneurial trends,” said Shay. The shift toward more comprehensive data collection, coupled with an accelerated publication timeline, will increase the relevance and timeliness of the GEM report’s findings.

Shay’s three-year term as chairman also ushers in a new era of collaboration and impact within the global entrepreneurial community. GEM’s first annual survey covered 10 countries; since then, at least 120 countries have participated in GEM research.

“I am excited to work on initiatives that enable greater collaboration among GEM teams around the world,” affirmed Shay, emphasizing the importance of collective action in achieving tangible results.

“I would like to see us work together more to make an even bigger impact,” Shay said. “I look forward to working with the board on initiatives that can facilitate this.”

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