Two helpful new global entrepreneurship assessments have been released in recent weeks and are definitely worth a look. The Global Entrepreneurship and Development Index 2014 ranks the quality and scale of the entrepreneurial process in 120 countries. (Note: the report is available free, but does require an email registration). The index ranks countries on their capacities and performance in terms of supporting business formation, expansion, and growth. Despite much recent evidence about declining U.S. business dynamism, the 2014 GEDI Index ranks the U.S. as the world’s top performer, followed by (in order): Australia, Sweden, Denmark, Switzerland, Taiwan, Finland, Netherlands, the U.K. and Singapore. All of these nations tend to score highly on measures of both entrepreneurial aspirations (do residents have interest in entrepreneurship?) and institutional and business support mechanisms.
Meanwhile, the Paris-based Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has released its annual assessment of entrepreneurial performance in key developed economies, with a special focus on Europe. Entrepreneurship at a Glance, 2014 finds that start-up rates diverge greatly across OECD countries. Most nations have failed to return to pre-economic crisis start-up rates, and entrepreneurial performance was especially weak in Denmark and Spain. Meanwhile, Australia, the U.K. and Sweden (all highly ranked in the GEDI index too) are showing strong start-up performance. Most new businesses remain quite small, but a small portion of high-growth firms are having a big economic impact. For example, in France, 15,000 high growth firms (about 2-4% of all firms) employ more than 1 million people. Across OECD countries, the researchers find that overall barriers to entrepreneurship are declining and that the number of opportunity entrepreneurs (those who start-up to capture a business opportunity as opposed to out of necessity) is growing.