No matter how earth-shattering an idea is, it will never get off the ground without funding and support. This is why, sadly, not all countries are the best suited for budding entrepreneurs. Startups find more success when public programs are available and when they’re living in countries that see the widespread benefits of supporting commerce.
The below list of the top 10 countries for entrepreneurs was curated by Best Countries in collaboration with BAV Consulting and the University of Pennsylvania. Each country in the survey was chosen by factors which made them characteristically similar and each was measured off of several attributes which would make a country well suited for entrepreneurs including how connected they are to the rest of the world; percentage of the population with formal education; provides simple access to startup capital; the level of technology expertise; well-developed infrastructure and legal practices.
Topping the list is Germany. Due to its structured environment and heavy creative influence in cities such as Berlin, entrepreneurs are at a unique advantage if living in this country. Even one of its top schools, European School of Management and Technology, has made entrepreneurship a primary teaching in its various degree programs.
Spending 3.39% of its gross domestic product in research and development, Japan is a prime spot for budding startups. Recognizing the boost the economy would receive by encouraging citizens to strike out on their own, Japan’s growth strategy puts startups at the forefront by investing in new technologies and fostering training and education in entrepreneurship in Japanese universities. They’ve even created mentorship programs connecting Japanese hopefuls to experts in Silicon Valley.
#3: United States of America
The U.S.A. has the highest rate of investments from venture capitalists making America a proverbial goldmine for startup companies. With entrepreneurship playing an increasingly large role the country’s economy, governmental policy changes have been rolling out in support of these fledgling businesses. It’s also worth mentioning that the idea of the ‘American dream’ plays an important part as the culture in the country encourages self-sufficiency.
#4: United Kingdom
With more than 600,000 companies projected to hang a shingle in 2016, the U.K. has well earned its spot in the top 5. Following an economic recession in 2008 and 2009, the government recognized that enabling citizens to start their own companies would help the economy bounce back. The country launched the StartUp Britain campaign aimed at educating people on entrepreneurship on how to build sales teams and how to navigate taking their businesses overseas, among other things.
With nearly 13 percent of their working-age population in early startup stages, Canada rounds out the top 5. Culturally, Canada values the entrepreneurial spirit and those who achieve success through rigorous personal efforts. While most countries focus on consumer services, Canada places its emphasis on the business to business model. While transactions may be fewer, the overall payoff tends to be larger for the little guy. Canada institutes a small business tax rate which further entices people to go into business for themselves. What’s more is the country is looking to establish policies to improve female startups as the current number of female to male entrepreneurs is 2 to 3.
Countries rounding out the top 10 are: