United Kingdom comes fifth in global entrepreneurship index

The UK is placed fifth overall in the global entrepreneurship index ahead of other prominent leading markets such as the United States and much of the EU.

Singapore has topped an in-depth study of the world’s nations as offering the best environment for entrepreneurs, according to an entrepreneurship index developed by Mara Foundation and Opinium Research.

The inaugural Ashish J Thakkar global entrepreneurship index measures entrepreneurial environments around the world and assesses each of its 85 countries against a set of criteria that spans policy, infrastructure, education, entrepreneurial environment and finance.

The United Kingdom currently ranks fifth overall, ahead of prominent commercial and financial centres such as the United States, and much of the EU.

The UK scores highly on the ‘finance pillar’ due to its ability to provide a supportive financial culture for entrepreneurs to flourish in. In particular, the UK scores extremely high in terms of its attractiveness to investors in venture capital and private equity, bettered only by the United States, due to its acknowledged history as a stable economy that is optimal for investors.

Similarly, the UK’s high ranking in the ‘policy pillar’ is due to the framework put in place by its government to encourage entrepreneurs – with the pillar excelling due to the lack of perceived risk stemming from its high credit rating and the economic freedoms afforded by its open approach to capitalism.

However, the UK scores poorly in terms of its overall entrepreneurial environment with one of the lowest scores of any of the top 10 countries. This is due to a significantly low ‘attitudes’ score which specifically relates to the lack of interest and appetite of the average citizen to start their own business.

While much of Western Europe does well overall in the Index, Greece and Spain rank relatively low (34th and 50th respectively). Both nations are continuing to reel from the after-effects of the financial crisis, which have been exacerbated by poor levels of entrepreneurial opportunities.

Rona Kotecha, executive director, Mara Foundation comments , ‘Whilst
Mara Mentor enables and empowers entrepreneurs, the Index and its 20 policy recommendations are designed to provide a starting point for changes that can be implemented to create more effective entrepreneurial environments. This, in turn, will lead to job creation and a positive impact on economies around the world.’

Ashish J Thakkar, founder of Mara Group and Mara Foundation adds, ‘In recent years, however, it has become more and more apparent that governments and the private sector are simply not doing enough to support entrepreneurs in their endeavours. With the creation of this Index, we hope to provide some solid policy recommendations that will help guide discussions and improve entrepreneurial environments globally.’

James Endersby, managing director, Opinium concludes, ‘The entrepreneurship index indicates that on the global stage, the United Kingdom is one of the most open and nurturing environments for entrepreneurs to build their own business.

‘While fifth place is a significant and admirable position in the overall ranking, the lack of entrepreneurial spirit that it indicates in the average citizen is concerning. More must be done to encourage people to take hold of the opportunities available to them, particularly if we want to continue to nurture our economic position in a post-Brexit environment.’

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Owen Gough, SmallBusiness UK

Owen Gough

Owen was a reporter for Bonhill Group plc writing across the Smallbusiness.co.uk and Growthbusiness.co.uk titles before moving on to be a Digital Technology reporter for the Express.co.uk.

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