Swedes shy away from entrepreneurship

Countries with medium incomes have more entrepreneurs than rich countries - and Sweden is way down the list when it comes to the number of people starting their own companies.

The league table was part of the Financial Times’ annual survey of the prevalence of newly-started companies around the world.

Venezuela, where around a quarter of the population are involved in some sort of entrepreneurial activity, came top of the list. In second place was Thailand, with 20.7%, and third was New Zealand with 17.6%.

At the bottom of the list were Hungary, Japan, Belgium and Sweden, where less than 5% of the population is involved in starting a new company.

According to the research, entrepreneurs from middle-income countries tend to create more innovative companies with a greater growth potential on average than those in richer countries.

On the other hand, new companies created in richer countries have a greater chance of surviving, said the FT.

The amount of risk capital floating around increased in 2004 for the first time since the IT bubble burst in 2000. The US invests 16 times more money in hi-tech companies than Europe. Only Sweden and Norway show signs of getting close to the US in terms of technology investment, wrote the paper.

TT/The Local