US tops 2017 Global Entrepreneurship Index

The US took first place in the index for the fourth year running, but Zoltan Acs, co-author of the GEI report, said not enough people in the developed world are starting productive, high-growth businesses.

For the fourth year in a row, the United States has topped the 2017 Global Entrepreneurship Index, an annual ranking that measures the health of entrepreneurship ecosystems in 137 countries.

The index, now in its seventh year, is published by two US-based groups: the Global Entrepreneurship Network, an initiative to promote startups and innovation in 160 countries, and research organisation GEDI Institute.

The GEI makes use of data on entrepreneurship potential among individuals, such as opportunity recognition, startup skills and risk acceptance, as well as measures of institutional capabilities such as urbanisation, education and economic freedom.

GEI’s creators say these measurements allow researchers to differentiate between conventional forms of self-employment and the kind of innovative entrepreneurship that spurs economic growth.

The 2017 index includes four new components to account for the increasing importance of digital entrepreneurship: digital citizenship, digital governance, digital marketplace and digital business.

Clustered at the top of the ranking were countries where innovation is continuing to drive development, GEI’s authors said. But while the US remains at the head of the ranking, its GEI score dipped to 84.3 from 86.2 the previous year.

Rounding out the top five were Switzerland, Canada, Sweden and Denmark, which used to take the number one spot in the GEI in its first three years, but has since slipped. The top 10 was completed, in order, by Iceland, Australia, the UK, Ireland and the Netherlands.

Elsewhere in Europe, Germany came 12th and France 13th, while Spain was 33rd and Italy 46th.

India made the biggest jump in the ranking, surging 29 spots from the previous year to reach 69th place, while China raced ahead by 12 spots to number 48. At present, the highest-ranking Asian country is Taiwan, in 16th place.

Zoltan Acs, co-author of the report and a professor at the Schar School of Policy and Government at George Mason University, said: “China and India are strengthening their entrepreneurial ecosystems and creating billion-dollar startups while Malaysia, Iceland and the Baltic states are emerging as digital entrepreneurship leaders.

“While institutional variables still need to be strengthened in emerging economies – where individuals are running ahead of policymakers – in developed countries individuals need to be shaken up. In other words, not enough people in developed countries – including the United States – are starting productive high-growth businesses.”

See more from this Government Report: Australia, Canada, Denmark, Iceland, Ireland, Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland, UK, US

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