Why Eastern Europe leads the region in entrepreneurship

What environments are the most conducive for entrepreneurs? This infographic may surprise you.

Are entrepreneurs born or made? Recently, Sir Peter Rigby, one of Britain’s most successful entrepreneurs, told the Telegraph that it’s all in the genes. If you’re considering starting up but aren’t sure it’s for you, it probably isn’t. But it’s not all about the nature versus nurture debate.

Studying the ‘entrepreneurial trait’ in detail, Warwick Business School’s Professor Nicos Nicolaou’s research reveals that heredity is no match for environmental factors leading individuals to take the plunge. High levels of testosterone can give individuals the push they need to start up, he says, but that’s just in terms of taking risks. He estimates that the traits you’re born with account for around 30 to 35 per cent of your capabilities as an entrepreneur. The rest is all about the environment you’re in, and making the most of entrepreneurial opportunities available to you.

If this is the case, what environments are the most conducive for entrepreneurs? Looking at the number of start-ups in any global hub, their survival rate over five years, their access to funding and average deal size could paint a more detailed picture of the kind of environment that works best.

The most recent Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) report reveals that particular environmental factors, including social, political and economic climates, are influential in creating unique business and entrepreneurial contexts. The entrepreneurial framework conditions assessed by GEM include financing, government policies, taxes, bureaucracy, and programmes, entrepreneurship education and training, R&D transfer, access to commercial, professional, physical and services infrastructure, internal market dynamics, and social and cultural norms.

Across 61 economies around the world, more than two-thirds of the adult population believe that entrepreneurs are well-regarded and enjoy high status within their societies. Entrepreneurship is now one of the coolest lines of work, which lends the profession a lot of support from the wider community.

The data also  reveals that Poland, Latvia and Estonia are primed for entrepreneurship.

According to the report, business in Poland has an enormous capacity to grow, which is affirmed by the fact that social attitudes and the percentage of those who plan to set up a new business. More than a half of Polish workers regard entrepreneurship as a highly positive phenomenon. Every fifth person is planning to set up their own business within the next three years, while the wider European ratio is one in eight. When asked about their motives for starting up, more frequently, Poles pointed to a big opportunity than to the necessity resulting from the lack of a satisfying job.

In Latvia, GEM indicates that 13.4 per cent of Latvia’s adult population (aged 18 to 64) were involved in early-stage entrepreneurial activity since 2012, where early-stage entrepreneurship is defined to include both nascent entrepreneurs and businesses younger than 3.5 years.

This infographic from Market Inspector highlights the best countries to start a business. Rankings are based on the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor report, more specifically on the New business ownership rate which represents the percentage of adult population aged between 18 and 64 years that have started a business which managed to hire employees and pay salaries within four to forty two months.

Praseeda Nair

Praseeda Nair

Praseeda was Editor for GrowthBusiness.co.uk from 2016 to 2018.

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