Stats Gate

World’s Most Entrepreneurial Countries, 2021

As the home of Silicon Valley and global success stories from Google to Apple, the United States tops the global ranking of the best countries to be an entrepreneur. With a highly-skilled workforce, competitiveness and openness for business, as well as having easy access to capital for entrepreneurs, the U.S. rates highly across the board. The country comes first in the overall “best countries for entrepreneurship” index, 2021.

The Entrepreneurship Index, compiled by the CEOWORLD magazine, evaluates a total of 100 economies which collectively account for 95 percent of global gross domestic product. The overall ranking considers a wide range of factors to create an overall “best countries for entrepreneurship” index, including innovation, competitiveness, infrastructure, labor skills, access to capital, and openness for business.

Starting a business anywhere takes grit, determination, and a marketable idea, but certain economies make it just a little bit easier for entrepreneurs to get off the ground. If you’re looking for the best country to build a business, you may not have to look far.

What are the most entrepreneurial countries in the world?

The United States has been recognized as the world’s most entrepreneurial country, according to the CEOWORLD magazine Entrepreneurship Index, 2021, while Germany and the United Kingdom placed second and third, respectively.

The 2021 rankings placed Israel in fourth ahead of the United Arab Emirates into fifth; while Poland ranked sixth, and Spain seventh.

Overall, among the top 10 most entrepreneurial countries, the eighth, ninth, and tenth positions are held by Sweden, India, and France. Australia took the No. 11 spot, followed by Estonia (No.12) and Ireland (No.13). Meanwhile, Malaysia ranked No. 14 in the CEOWORLD magazine’s ranking of the world’s most entrepreneurial economies for 2021.

Saudi Arabia came in fifteenth place, followed by South Korea (sixteenth), Canada (seventeenth), the Philippines (eighteenth), and Denmark, ranked nineteenth. Out of the world’s 100 most entrepreneurial countries for 2021, Switzerland ranked No. 20th.

We live in the day and age where stimulated economic growth of a nation doesn’t solely rely on large conglomerates. Times have changed remarkably and today is the era of competent opportunities. In this digital scenario, the progress of the nation can be easily channeled through startups.

Thus, the desire to enhance the economy through entrepreneurship is a common policy exerted by governments today. As independent businesses help foster employment rates, competition, and innovation, it can be safely concluded that it is a key solution to the flagging growth of a nation.

The world’s most entrepreneurial countries, 2021

RankCountryScoreInnovationCompetitivenessLabour SkillsInfrastructureAccess To CapitalOpenness For Business
1United States42.882.192.5845.7338.74360.340.21
2Germany41.051.941.8149.2455.27325.920.31
3United Kingdom35.81.431.5649.3764.25290.140.34
4Israel34.256.16.6516.415.05358.270.28
5United Arab Emirates31.013.072.6132.638.27487.040.21
6Poland29.751.131.3849.5272.57178.650.56
7Spain29.015.015.419.9518.51489.340.16
8Sweden28.162.423.4841.3628.72357.950.28
9India25.472.032.1149.1647.46490.720.09
10France25.344.45.6822.7317.6279.990.36
11Australia25.052.713.0836.9532.49221.160.45
12Estonia24.644.394.1822.7823.91320.30.31
13Ireland24.373.883.9125.7425.592060.49
14Malaysia23.62.482.840.2835.65150.130.67
15Saudi Arabia22.985.743.7117.4326.93226.080.44
16South Korea22.433.23.6431.2627.45165.380.6
17Canada21.81.421.8249.6154.91151.830.66
18Philippines21.622.572.3838.942.01127.420.78
19Denmark21.422.953.5133.8728.46145.20.69
20Switzerland21.343.773.8526.5425.99241.790.41
21Taiwan21.245.085.4819.718.23193.20.52
22Japan20.713.614.0127.7224.92241.350.41
23Singapore20.054.234.4523.6622.49239.750.42
24China20.045.065.1119.7719.58206.010.49
25Austria19.923.814.7926.2320.89203.210.49
26Portugal19.735.855.6417.117.72223.430.45
27Belgium19.722.522.6839.6237.28140.290.71
28Italy19.462.733.136.6732.25147.320.68
29New Zealand18.554.054.6624.7121.48222.810.45
30Thailand18.324.555.7221.9817.47112.060.89
31Colombia18.252.322.9443.0734.05130.750.76
32Bulgaria18.054.794.4920.8822.29141.680.71
33Chile17.413.163.4931.6628.61113.930.88
34Czech Republic17.375.545.5218.0518.12225.030.44
35Mexico17.374.834.7920.720.88221.860.45
36Norway17.223.265.0830.6719.7106.180.94
37Cyprus17.163.244.8730.8520.54105.090.95
38Argentina16.963.813.1926.2631.39243.780.41
39Latvia16.764.355.4622.9918.3135.330.74
40Serbia16.553.273.330.5630.32114.40.87
41Brazil16.43.764.2926.6323.3198.340.5
42Romania16.252.542.7139.3636.8797.081.03
43Hungary16.192.732.6136.6938.32175.680.57
44Netherlands162.182.7845.8636.01128.410.78
45Indonesia15.423.954.7625.2921.03226.520.44
46Greece15.235.425.418.4618.53192.30.52
47Croatia15.24.114.424.3322.72151.840.66
48South Africa15.125.86.0417.2516.56166.310.6
49Luxembourg15.056.327.3315.8213.65296.630.34
50Rwanda14.964.416.3822.6815.68251.950.4
51Turkey14.953.613.7527.7226.7106.530.94
52Slovenia14.865.495.418.2218.53183.490.54
53Slovakia14.84.874.7420.5221.1230.470.43
54Russia14.793.84.2726.323.44115.910.86
55Belarus14.713.583.8727.9725.8590.181.11
56Peru14.653533.3720.02114.680.87
57Iceland14.653.583.8327.9226.08112.960.89
58Qatar14.545.136.319.515.86134.950.74
59Armenia14.412.683.0837.3432.4789.621.12
60Malta14.44.925.1220.3319.51174.220.57
61Morocco14.326.666.4615.0215.48195.270.51
62Moldova14.234.224.1823.7223.92102.520.98
63Kenya14.26.256.4516.0115.52274.380.36
64Nigeria14.116.288.2815.9312.07278.780.36
65Azerbaijan14.076.186.0916.1716.42163.430.61
66Finland145.865.6217.0517.79140.510.71
67Kazakhstan13.874.163.9424.0625.3597.481.03
68Puerto Rico13.863.953.9625.3125.26114.610.87
69Uruguay13.844.34.6823.2821.37191.880.52
70North Macedonia13.596.978.3914.3411.92271.860.37
71Georgia13.577.57.7813.3312.86176.690.57
72Lithuania13.552.963.7833.7726.49171.340.58
73Ukraine13.533.153.4431.729.07149.860.67
74Vietnam13.443.063.4732.7128.7982.891.21
75Jordan13.383.53.3628.5829.7791.731.09
76Tunisia13.385.597.0517.8814.1885.411.17
77Ghana13.352.73.7437.0826.73150.820.66
78Ecuador13.344.294.3323.2923.08156.670.64
79Bahrain13.343.523.3628.429.77104.160.96
80Sri Lanka13.186.65.6915.1517.56199.560.5
81Dominican Republic13.164.524.7722.1520.9883.091.2
82Albania13.165.736.7217.4514.89154.120.65
83Costa Rica13.062.832.9135.3834.4174.791.34
84Bangladesh12.994.344.8923.0520.4793.621.07
85Jamaica12.913.74.6227.0421.6291.391.09
86Botswana12.854.74.7221.2721.17150.830.66
87Lebanon12.85.144.9319.4520.27149.30.67
88Iran Islamic Republic of12.662.843.2135.2731.12142.70.7
89Cameroon12.655.825.8517.1717.11210.210.48
90Egypt12.594.764.4121.0322.68111.480.9
91Uganda12.594.374.6822.8921.39151.160.66
92Venezuela12.594.384.4422.8122.5473.441.36
93Trinidad and Tobago12.523.894.1925.7323.8978.221.28
94Paraguay12.394.264.9123.4720.3791.871.09
95Bolivia12.324.284.8823.3720.590.171.11
96Algeria12.285.125.0419.5219.85148.10.68
97Ethiopia12.273.715.1126.9519.5675.331.33
98Zambia12.274.434.3922.5722.8100.051
99Pakistan (Islamic Republic of)12.244.465.0722.4419.7376.551.31
100El Salvador12.183.793.8426.3826.0189.941.11

Detailed findings & methodology: In order to determine the rankings, researchers at the CEOWORLD magazine compiled, analyzed, and compared 190 countries across 6 key categories: innovation, competitiveness, labour skills, infrastructure, access to capital, and openness for business.

To evaluate those dimensions, researchers looked at 18 indicators that fell into one of the 6 categories. An index has been created scoring the individual indicators on a scale of 1-100. Each individual indicator was given equal weighting within each of the 6 categories with some indicators being comprised of 2-3 sub-indicators that were also weighted equally.

The study is based on a detailed global survey conducted between 19 October and 24 December 2020 by the CEOWORLD magazine in Partnership with the Global Business Policy Institute (GBPI) of 120,000 participants. CEOWORLD magazine put together a panel of experts to go over data points culled from sources like the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), World Economic Forum, Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), U.S. News & World Report, the United Nation’s Economic and Social Council, and the World Bank. Based on a consensus from these sources, the final choice of countries was judged editorially, as was their position on the list. All data is for the most recent period available. Some countries and territories were not included in the official statistics for various reasons, primarily due to the lack of necessary data. Also, countries and territories with low initial scores were excluded from the list as the comparison would create misleading results.

This ranking should not be viewed as the most important aspect when choosing a place to build a business, and are merely one element to consider. The rankings are the result of a rigorous analytical exercise, incorporating multiple data sources, without relying on investment promotion agencies (IPA) and Government Industry trade data submissions.

The margin of sampling error for the full sample of 120,000 respondents is plus or minus 1.2 percentage points. In addition to sampling error, one should bear in mind that as in all survey research, there are possible sources of error—such as coverage, nonresponse, and measurement error——that could affect the results.

Track Latest News Live on CEOWORLD magazine and get news updates from the United States and around the world. The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of the CEOWORLD magazine. Follow CEOWORLD magazine on Twitter and Facebook. For media queries, please contact: info@ceoworld.biz

Alexandra Dimitropoulou

Alexandra Dimitropoulou

VP and News Editor
Alexandra Dimitropoulou is a VP and News Editor at CEOWORLD magazine, working to build and strengthen the brand’s popular, consumer-friendly content. In addition to running the company’s website, CEOWORLD magazine, which aims to help CEOs, CFOs, CIOs, and other C-level executives get smarter about how they earn, save and spend their money, she also sits on the Board of Directors of the Global Business Policy Institute. She can be reached on email alexandra-dimitropoulou@ceoworld.biz. You can follow her on Twitter at @ceoworld.