photo credit: Sh4rp_i
When George Bush said that the French didn’t have a word for Entrepreneurs, the well-heeled in the Europe snickered. But, George may have the last laugh as many European countries performed poorly in a report on Global Entrepreneurship.
Top Ten Countries for Starting a Business
According to the report, the best places to get your country off the ground are:
- United States
- New Zealand
This will raise some eye-brows as countries such as Iceland totally collapsed last year, Ireland is heading down the tubes it seems, and countries such as Denmark, Sweden and Switzerland are not the powerhouses of European economy.
You can download the complete report here.
Why is the US in 3rd?
Mark Henricks, writing on BNET, remarks that, ‘The United States ranks third overall behind those two countries on the Global Entrepreneurship and Development Index. On one of the GEDI’s sub-indexes, this one ranking entrepreneurial activity, the U.S. came in eighth. It did rank first in one sub-index measuring entrepreneurial aspirations. Based on that, you might say that America is the land of wannabe entrepreneurship.’
The report cautions that, ‘his paper should serve more as an eye-opener than as a cause for alarm. The United States maintains its place among the leading entrepreneurial economies. Its performance is still superior in most respects to the averages for innovation-driven and efficiency-driven economies. Its strengths in the skill of its workers, the size of its markets, the institutional support for its people, and the aspirations of the American population are strong and robust.’
Australia is 11th. While most western countries got hammered by the recession, my business friends down under seemed fairly immune.
UK comes in 14th place despite a new pro-business government.
Germany, despite its influence across Europe both politically and economically, falls behind into 16th.
Israel comes in 21st, one of the few countries in the Middle East to score high.
Business in Asia
Korea performs well at 20th, though Singapore is higher in 15th.
China is well down in 40th place reflecting the difficulty for small businesses to get off the ground. Hong Kong, with its long ties to the west, is slightly higher in 23rd.
Does it add up?
I’m not sure these figures make sense. Or, to look at it another way, the assessment criteria may favor smaller countries over larger ones.
Think how difficult it is to turn a small boat around (Ireland) compared to a 500 ton tanker (USA). The starting positions are quiet different.
Also, as someone who divides his time between Ireland and China, the figures are slightly perplexing.
Banks in Ireland have been torn to shreds in the press for not lending. Despite massive bailouts.
Whereas Chinese businesspeople I work with seem to have little difficulty getting access to funding.
Note: India, another Asian powerhouse, comes in at 53rd.
Maybe I’ve missed something.
Perceived Strengths & Evolving Weaknesses
The authors of the report believe that ‘as we come to the end of the first decade of the new millennium is a more pragmatic reality check on some of our perceived strengths and evolving strategies to correct for past shortcomings.’
From where you’re standing, what advantages are there for those starting a business? What needs to be done to accelerate the process?
Please share your thoughts below.