In Milestone Appointment, Babson’s Jeffrey P. Shay Named Chair of Global Entrepreneurship Monitor

Jeffrey Shay smiles for a portrait

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

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

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

Reflecting on his journey, Shay expressed his gratitude for the opportunity to contribute, stating, “It was quite an honor when Bill reached out to me as a freshly minted PhD to join the project.” 

GEM began in 1999 as a joint research project between Babson College and London Business School and has since grown to become an ongoing source of detailed information on entrepreneurial ecosystems around the world. The consortium publishes the GEM Global Report annually and a range of national and special topic 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-lead of GEM United States with Babson Entrepreneurship Chair Donna Kelley.   

“I always thought it would be great to be involved with the team and see behind the scenes,” Shay remarked, underscoring his desire to deepen his engagement with GEM upon his return to Babson in 2021.  

Making a Greater Impact

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’re poised to make significant strides in understanding global entrepreneurial trends,” Shay noted. The shift toward more comprehensive data gathering, coupled with a faster publication timeline, will enhance the relevance and timeliness of the GEM report’s findings. 

Shay’s three-year tenure as chair also heralds a new era of collaboration and impact within the global entrepreneurship community. GEM’s first annual study covered 10 countries; since then, at least 120 countries have participated in GEM research.  

“I’m excited to work toward initiatives that facilitate greater collaboration among GEM teams worldwide,” Shay affirmed, highlighting the importance of collective action in driving tangible outcomes. 

“I’d like to see us work more collaboratively toward making an even greater impact,” Shay said. “I look forward to working with the board on initiatives that can facilitate that.” 

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