Which are the most entrepreneurial countries in the world based on the percentage of people who start their own businesses? The answer might surprise you. If you consider only businesses started by people between the ages of 18 and 64 that have been in operation for four to 42 months and pay employees salaries, the countries that rise to the top aren’t the United States, Canada, or any countries in Europe. Instead, countries in Central America, South America, Africa, and Asia top the list.
According to data compiled by GEM Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, the most entrepreneurial country this year is Belize where 14% of the country’s population have started businesses within the past four to 42 months that pay employees. Of particular interest is the fact that more women are entrepreneurs in Belize than men.
The second most entrepreneurial country in the world is located in Africa. Burkina Faso has a 13.5% entrepreneurial rate. In third place and fourth place are Asia’s Thailand with an entrepreneurial rate of 12.6% and Lebanon with a 12.1% entrepreneurial rate. Rounding out the top five is Columbia, which is located in South America and has an entrepreneurial rate of 11.3%.
The complete top 10 list of the most entrepreneurial countries in the world:
- Belize = 14%
- Burkina Faso = 13.5%
- Thailand = 12.6%
- Lebanon = 12.1%
- Colombia = 11.3%
- Ecuador = 11.0%
- Cameroon = 10.9%
- Indonesia = 10.4%
- Chile = 9.3%
- Guatemala = 8.6%
It’s interesting to note that no countries in Europe made the top 10 list (the highest entrepreneurial rate tracked in Europe was found in Poland at 6.1%). Only two countries in North America made it into the top 10 (Belize and Guatamala), and both are in Central America. According to the data, the entrepreneurial rate in the United States is just 4.0%.
You can see this data and more in the infographic from Market Inspector below. Do any of the rankings surprise you? Leave a comment below and tell us what you think.
Annette Hohnberger says
Susan, great job on this article. These are really interesting stats. Belize in the lead? Two African countries on the list? Wow, that’s quite surprising. I’d have thought the US and Canada would top that list. Thailand I’m not so surprised about. You should visit Bangkok when you have the chance. The entrepreneurial spirit is alive in that country. Thanks for sharing this.
P.S: 5 is Colombia… Guess autocorrect interfered, right ;-)?
Susan Gunelius says
Thanks for catching the typo, Annette! I fixed it. And I agree with you, some of the rankings surprised me, too! I’ve never been to Bangkok, but I’d love to go!
Annette Hohnberger says
Yeah, you should. It’s an amazing country. A bit rough around the edges, but that’s what makes it interesting and FUN!