Why India is the most entrepreneurial country in the world

Turkey and the US complete the medal positions, while the UK is down in 28th place.

by Rachel Savage
Last Updated: 30 Mar 2016

It’s not Silicon Valley that is the centre of the world for startups, but the subcontinent. Those who had pigeonholed Indian business as little more than call centres in Bangalore might be surprised at the conclusion of a new report.

There is a pretty simple explanation though: in a country where an estimated half of GDP and 90% of employment is generated by the informal economy, most Indians don’t have any option but to go it alone.

The report, by private wealth managers Oracle Capital, uses pretty wide-ranging methodology, drawing in everything from data on business activity to attitudes to entrepreneurs. India ranked highly for factors including willingness to self-fund and low failure rates. Surprisingly, given its reputation as a ‘Licence Raj’ tangled in red tape, the country came out top for ease of doing business.

Turkey took second place in the rankings, scoring well on attitudes to risk and a low fear of failure. The third-placed US, the only big developed country in the top 10, also ranked highly for fearlessness, fitting with the stereotype of Yanks pursuing the American Dream.

Brazil and China came ahead of Iceland and Ireland (note to Oracle, Iceland is in Europe, despite floating on its own in the middle of the Atlantic). All apart from China came in the top five for the image of entrepreneurs.

The UK put on a poor show, down in 28th place, while Japan brought up the rear in 33rd place behind Belgium and Germany. Brits are also the most risk averse, compounded by the fear of losing homes, according to the research. Overpriced housing (in London and the south east, at least) might actually have some positive side effects.

RankCountry
1India
2Turkey
3United States
4Brazil
5China
6Iceland
7Ireland
8Russian Federation
9Estonia
10Austria
11Switzerland
12Netherlands
13Israel
14Slovakia
15Poland
16Norway
17Sweden
18Luxembourg
19South Korea
20Finland
21Slovenia
22Greece
23Czech Republic
24Spain
25Portugal
26Denmark
27France
28UK
29Hungary
30Italy
31Germany
32Belgium
33Japan

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