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Global entrepreneurship rankings measure nations’ investments in themselves

November 30, 2017   /   by Buzz McClain

How countries invest in their own economic futures is key to raising the standard of living, developing innovation and avoiding internal and external conflicts, said George Mason University professor Zoltan Acs.

The 2018 Global Entrepreneurship Index, released this week by George Mason’s Schar School of Policy and Government and the Global Entrepreneurship Network, is a ranking of those investment efforts that hold nations accountable for their self-investment.

Now in its eighth year, the index measures and ranks 132 nations in 14 categories for their entrepreneurial efforts within their own boundaries, from the United States at No. 1 to Chad at 132.

“If you can measure entrepreneurship within a country, you get a good idea of how policies in those countries are affecting entrepreneurship,” said Acs, founder and president of the Global Entrepreneurship and Development Institute.

“The global ranking gives us a way to help a country figure out their weaknesses and help them correct those weaknesses.”

Entrepreneurship is vital in reducing violence, Acs added. “If we create more jobs, there will be fewer wars. Violence is not caused by religion or ethnic differences, it’s caused by the lack of jobs and income. Entrepreneurism leads to stability, and stability leads to prosperity.”

The Asia-Pacific region’s countries performed best in the category of product innovation. Europe’s investment in startups was up, as was Sub-Saharan Africa’s strengths in “opportunity perception,” cultural support and competition.

Individual nations that made significant gains in the last year include Bulgaria and Iran, which both moved up 13 places, and the United Kingdom and Italy, which moved up four. The gains indicate improvements in several categories that contribute to an overall index number.

The ranking includes a tool for assessing weaknesses in a nation’s entrepreneurial efforts that can possibly be corrected.

“For instance, if the United States ranks first with a score of 86 [from a possible 100], we can see there are still weaknesses in racial inequities, regional differences and other aspects that can be improved,” Acs said. “The U.S. needs to expand the middle class. As of now, it is shrinking.”

The United States still has room for improvement in networking entrepreneurial opportunities, “technology absorption” and risk acceptance, among others, he said.

To access the Global Entrepreneurship Index, visit this site.