These Facts About The Current Startup Landscape May Surprise You
If you recently started your own business or are in the process of doing so, you know first hand about the quest for innovation, the challenge of getting funding, and the goal of making a profitable contribution to the economy. But what does the entrepreneurial life look like on a global scale? We've gathered the data for our new infographic and uncovered some obvious, but also some quite surprising facts about the startup landscape.
In the obvious category the United States is still the world's poster child for capitalism and enterprise. Despite the doom and gloom often projected by the 24 hour news networks, with 4.7 million startups in the past year America is still leading the entrepreneurial race. It's the emerging economies however that are poised to change the whole landscape, with countries like India creating 1.91 million successful new businesses. We might not be too far away from a world where the BRICS nations become the dominant financial force.
Where things get a little more interesting however is when you look at the number of startups per capita, which is sort of a measure of how entrepreneurial the population of a country actually is. There's no denying that Japan has always been a juggernaut for tech innovation, but it turns out far more people in Thailand and Vietnam are starting their own businesses. Could this be a reflection of corporate monopolies?
Germany is considered the economic bedrock of the European Union, but per capita Nigeria has just as many startups. Don't be fooled into thinking they're still stuck in 419 scam economy. As much as that kind of thing does still go on, many young hardworking entrepreneurs are doing things the right way and cleaning up the country's image.
But which country has the most startups per capita in the world? The US, China?
This doesn't necessarily mean people in Uganda are inventing iPhones or Uber, but it does mean they are a population of doers. Raw capitalism is necessary for survival. If you can't farm, trade, or provide some kind of service, then you simply cannot have an even close to decent quality of life. Right now they are in an extreme form of the "mom & pop" business model, but as some of these businesses grow the stats may begin to level themselves out.
The iPhones and Ubers are still the realm of the US, even if they are ranked in the 40s overall. When Facebook can acquire WhatsApp for $19 billion, you know something is going right. The average person in the street might not be starting a business, but the businesses that are being launched grow to huge values. In fact 7 out of the 10 most valuable startups were the children of America's booming tech industry. As well as value they're also having a global impact. Traditional Taxi drivers across the world are taking to the streets to protest Uber, which allows anybody to be a driver with their innovative app, but the market has spoken. Uber works and is now valued at $51 billion!
Of course even if we want to start our own Uber there are often barriers that prevent us, or at least some countries are more appealing than others. High tax rates are one factor that stifles entrepreneurship. There is also the issue of investment, if you can't get funding then big ideas simply remain ideas.
More countries than ever are now courting startups because they recognize their value to the economy. Israel for example, has pumped $450 million into research & development and seed funding. If you want to start a business in Chile you may be eligible for a $40,000 equity free grant.
It's not just native entrepreneurs that are being given a helping hand either. Startup visas for foreigners looking to launch businesses are now commonplace. Italy who have 200% less startups than Indonesia and are lagging behind many European countries are now offering fast-tracked visas; as are Spain, the Netherlands and Ireland. Although countries like India have a large native startup sector, foreigners are increasingly joining the fray because of how cheap it is to live there and employ people.
Yet regardless of all of this data the universal constant that makes any startup successful is innovation. Uber is the obvious example, but there are many other ingenious ideas out there that have worked. What about Freight Farms that have turned shipping containers in to farming systems? Or Rent The Chicken, that allows you to rent a chicken coop (with the chickens) so you can have fresh eggs every morning for as long as you desire?
Don't file that wacky idea away, because it just might change the world!
For more surprising facts about the startup economy, check out the infographic study by Coupofy.