StartupBlink Blog

In today’s interconnected world, countries around the globe are competing to create thriving hubs of innovation and entrepreneurship. As we enter the year 2023, it’s crucial to understand the current trends in the global startup ecosystem and identify best countries for startups to relocate.

In this blog article, we will delve into the latest insights from the Global Startup Ecosystem Index, which evaluates the top 100 countries shaping the future of startups worldwide.

Whether you are an aspiring entrepreneur seeking the perfect ecosystem to relocate, an investor in search of the next big opportunity, or simply interested in the global startup scene, this article will serve as your guide.

The Top 20: Best Countries for Startups to Relocate

With the health checks on StartupBlink Pro, discover dozens of ranking parameters on thousands of cities and countries to learn strengths and weaknesses in each ecosystem.

The Top 10 Countries: The United States retains the leadership position

If you are building something massive, the top 10 countries in the Index is where your startup should relocate. The top 5 countries have remained stable, but there have been significant changes in rankings within the top 20. Here are the key insights from the top 10 countries:

  • The United States maintains its global leadership position, with a substantial lead over the United Kingdom in 2nd place.
  • The UK’s lead over 3rd ranked Israel has narrowed, potentially influenced by Brexit’s impact on talent attraction.
  • Israel retains its 3rd position globally, with the results not yet reflecting the impact of a judicial overhaul.
  • The top 3 countries (US, UK, Israel) have a significant gap from lower-ranked countries, solidifying their positions.
  • Canada maintains a strong 4th position but has seen a narrowing gap with lower-ranked ecosystems.
  • Sweden remains the top-ranked EU country, followed by Singapore, which surpassed Germany to claim 6th place.
  • France has shown positive momentum, improving its global ranking to 8th and surpassing Australia.
  • The Netherlands returned to the top 10, replacing China, bringing the total European representation to 5 countries.

Countries between 11-20: Japan shows the biggest momentum change in the Top 20​​

  • Switzerland has improved its ranking to 11th globally, although it is still lower than its previous position of 8th in previous years.
  • China has dropped to 12th place and lost its leading position in Asia to Singapore.
  • In terms of Absolute Ecosystem Power (startup output not adjusted to population size), China maintains the second position globally, surpassing the UK, India, and Germany. 
  • Finland has advanced to the 13th spot, surpassing Estonia, which is now ranked 14th.
  • Spain has replaced Ireland and now holds the 15th position.
  • Lithuania remains stable at the 17th spot.
  • Japan experienced the biggest momentum change in the top 20, jumping 2 spots to 18th and surpassing Denmark.
  • South Korea has returned to the global top 20, improving its ranking by one spot.

StartupBlink Pro users can access our alternative rankings, including the absolute power.

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Countries between 21-50: Iceland and Luxembourg have made massive jump

  • India has dropped 2 spots to 21st globally but ranks 4th by Absolute Ecosystem Power, highlighting its high level of startup activity.
  • Belgium remains stable at 22nd place, while Norway has advanced by 1 spot to 23rd globally, marking an impressive 10-spot climb since 2020. 
  • Norway is also ranked 7th for its startup-friendly environment.
  • Taiwan has moved up by 1 spot to 24th globally, consistently improving its ranking each year. 
  • Austria closes the top 25 global countries but experienced a decline of 2 spots.
  • Portugal has advanced by 2 spots to 26th, continuing its upward trajectory since 2020. 
  • Brazil is the top-ranked LATAM country at 27th, though it has dropped from its 2020 ranking of 20th globally. However, Brazil ranks 10th globally by Absolute Ecosystem Power.
  • The United Arab Emirates maintained its position as the second-ranked MENA country but decreased by 1 spot to the 28th globally. 
  • Russia remains stable at 29th after a significant decline last year. 
  • Italy reclaimed 30th place after falling off the global top 30 in the previous year.
  • New Zealand dropped one spot to 31st after advancing 17 spots in 2021 and 2022.
  • Iceland made a massive jump of 9 spots and is now ranked 32nd, completing a climb of 26 spots in three years.
  • Luxembourg jumped 6 spots to succeed Poland at 34th place, showing the largest improvement among EU countries.
  • Czechia decreased by 3 spots, resulting in a total decrease of 9 spots since 2020.
  • Chile, Mexico, and Bulgaria all experienced a decrease of 2 spots.
  • Latvia and Colombia both jumped 4 spots, with Colombia being the only LATAM country with positive momentum in the top 50.
  • Indonesia and Romania registered a decrease of three spots, while Malaysia had a mild decline of one spot.
  • Croatia, Türkiye, and Greece advanced by 1, 1, and 2 spots, respectively.
  • Argentina had the steepest decrease among the top 50, falling 10 spots to 47th.
  • Slovenia decreased by one spot, reversing the 13-spot gain it had in 2020.
  • Ukraine solidified its position among the top 50 by improving one spot.
  • Hungary returned to the top 50, climbing one spot after a 14 spot loss in the previous years.

StartupBlink Pro users can access our alternative rankings, including the absolute power, as well as ranking by business environment score that determines the startup-friendliness of a country.

Countries between 51-100: Uganda rejoins the global Top 100

There are some interesting shifts happening in countries between 51-100. Here are the key insights:

  • Mauritius and Senegal showed the steepest positive momentum, jumping 10 spots to 61st and 82nd globally.
  • Sri Lanka improved by 7 spots to 83rd, while Saudi Arabia and Ecuador advanced by 6 spots to 66th and 81st, respectively.
  • Liechtenstein, Ghana, Kuwait, and Uganda climbed 5 spots each to 63rd, 77th, 94th, and 96th, respectively.
  • Georgia and Mongolia each climbed 2 spots to 71st and 79th, and Kazakhstan improved by 1 spot to 73rd.
  • Morocco dropped 14 spots to 93rd, Rwanda dropped 11 spots to 95th, and Belarus dropped 10 spots to 80th.
  • Panama could not retain its positive momentum, ending at 86th after gaining 9 spots in previous years.
  • South Africa decreased by 4 spots, resulting in the exclusion of the African region from the global top 50 rankings.
  • Nigeria dropped 3 spots to 64th due to a challenging year in funding.
  • Uganda returned to the Index at 96th, and Kosovo dropped out of the global top 100 this year.

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