By Thomas Colson
A central European country tops a global ranking of the best places to be an entrepreneur — although several continents are represented at the top of the list.
The index, compiled by Wharton University and market research firm Y&R, evaluates a total of 80 countries which collectively account for 95% of the global Gross Domestic Product.
The overall ranking considers a wide range of factors to create an overall “best countries” index, including entrepreneurship, heritage, quality of life, and openness for business.
Business Insider took a look at the “entrepreneurship” subindex, which analyses factors including connectivity, education levels, labor force skills, transparency, and infrastructure.
Here are the nine countries which made the top of the list.
The Australian start-up scene is an emerging one, and despite relatively big start-up costs associated with high wages, the country scores highly on the “entrepreneurial” sub-index on account of its connectivity, infrastructure, and transparent business practices.
The Economist newspaper has dubbed Singapore “the world’s most tightly packed entrepreneurial ecosystem,” with a world-beating start-up environment. It scores highly on the Wharton index for its infrastructure, easy access to capital, and connectivity.A street in Singapore.
The first north American entry on the list ranks highly for its well-developed infrastructure, transparent business practices, and educated workforce. In 2015, the country launched an innovative ‘Start-Up Visa’ scheme, which links immigrant entrepreneurs with Canadian private sector organizations.
The Scandinavian state ranks particularly highly for the transparency of its business practices and for its highly-educated workforce. The Swedish capital, Stockholm, is a leading start-up hub.
The small central European country is one of the world’s wealthiest and has the benefits of a highly-skilled and highly educated workforce. It is highly attractive to entrepreneurs, with low corporate taxes, easy access to capital, and a well-developed legal framework.
4. United Kingdom
OECD statistics note a 31% uptick in UK entrepreneurial activity between 2007 and 2016, bucking a worldwide downward trend. It scores particularly highly on the index for infrastructure, connectivity, and its strong legal framework.
3. United States
The USA has long been established as a leading hub of innovation and entrepreneurial activity, particularly the world-famous Silicon Valley — an area of northern California which houses brands including Facebook and Google. The USA scores a full 10 on the index for connectivity and ease of access to capital.
Japan is one of the world’s best educated and technologically advanced countries, making it highly attractive to entrepreneurs. It scores a full 10 for its advanced infrastructure.
Germany rates highly across the board as a well-connected country with a highly developed infrastructure and highly-skilled workforce, as well as having easy access to capital for entrepreneurs. The country comes fourth in the overall “best countries” index.
Thomas Colson is a Digital Fellow at Business Insider.
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