Image | Chris Dlugosz

Over the course of ten years the term “entrepreneurship” has spread throughout the world. Nowadays being an entrepreneur or working at a startup even emanates a certain glow of glamour, as the idea has gelled in the public’s mind that people who build a company up from nothing are brave, creative and tough.

But what is reality like for entrepreneurs on the different continents, and how do different degrees of entrepreneurship compare around the world? Certainly, despite how startups have multiplied over the past few years in Spain, the country does not come from a 100% entrepreneurial background. In part, it was the economic crisis that pushed many to start their own businesses.

According to the experts the world’s most entrepreneurial countries are the United States, Israel, the UK and Germany. All of them feature one of the most important factors for entrepreneurship: density. The larger the population, the greater the number of startups per inhabitant there will be. And once the creation of certain number of startups is achieved, the whole ecosystem sets in motion. Another aspect necessary for a country to stand out for its level of entrepreneurship is its financing capacity, an area in which Spain still is far from resembling models like, for example, that of Germany. However, there are more and more business angels, venture capital companies and investment funds willing to bank on local startups.

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Image | Doing Business 2015

The Doing Business report, issued by the World Bank, contains a ranking of countries based on how easy it is to start businesses in them. The top slots are taken by countries like Singapore, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Denmark and South Korea. Spain has risen 19 positions in relation to the previous version of the study, now ranking 33rd (out of 189). According to the World Bank, this is due to the country’s improvement in four of the ten regulatory areas that the organisation evaluates to measure the ease of doing business in each nation.

The countries where it is most difficult to do business include Eritrea, Libya, Central African Republic, South Sudan and Chad. And yet, there are African countries offering opportunities and where people are willing to start businesses, like Uganda, Angola, Cameroon and Botswana.

It should be noted that the countries listed by the World Bank as those where it is easy to do business do not necessarily top the ranking of countries with entrepreneurial cultures. Japan, South Korea, Singapore and Hong Kong are countries whose governments offer well-paid jobs, which means that people don’t feel the need to launch their own companies.

What are the best places to be an entrepreneur?


Image | Expansión

According to the report, these are the countries that shine in each region:

  • European Union: Sweden, Denmark, Estonia, Romania, Lithuania and Croatia.
  • Rest of Europe: Kosovo, Norway, Switzerland, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Georgia.
  • Asia and the Australian Continent: Qatar, Thailand, the Philippines, and Indonesia.
  • Latin America and the Caribbean: Chile, Colombia and Peru.
  • North America: The United States and Canada.

In Spain, Barcelona, Madrid and Valencia are the cities considered innovation centres. Although the government is endeavouring to foster the creation of companies, there is still a long way to go.