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This article offers a brief overview of some of the insights featured in the premium version of the report: Top 100 Countries for Startup-Business Friendliness exclusively accessible to our PRO UsersThe premium version includes a deeper analysis of 100 countries, offering more insights into startup-business friendly environments of countries at regional and parameter levels.

Starting a business can be challenging anywhere, but some countries manage to create a better environment to succeed. Those are the countries where governments create a business environment for entrepreneurs to build. The score takes into account factors such as internet speed, R&D investments, and other key parameters that support the development and success rate of a business.  

In this overview, we covered the top 10 Startup-Business Friendly countries in 2023. The top 4 consists of the United States, Australia, the United Kingdom and Singapore. 

What's inside the full report?​

The Full report is only available to StartupBlink PRO.

Main Components of StartupBlink’s Total Score

The Quantity score measures the activity level of an ecosystem by counting the number of startups, coworking spaces, accelerators, and startup-related Meetups in the region.

The Quality score looks at the success of the top startups in an ecosystem, as well as the number of “special entities” that have been produced, such as Unicorns (private companies valued at over US $1 billion), Exits (successful acquisitions or initial public offerings), and Pantheon (startups that have reached a significant level of success).

The Business Environment score (also known as the Business Score) focuses on factors that affect the entire country, such as national policies, legislation, and infrastructure. 

To calculate the Business Score, StartupBlink considers parameters such as:

  • Diversity index
  •  Internet speed
  •  Cost of internet
  •  Internet freedom
  •  R&D investment
  •  Availability of various technological services
  • (payment portals, ride-sharing apps,
  • cryptocurrency)
  •  Level of English proficiency
  •  Passport strength
  •  Availability of startup or nomad visas
  •  Corporate tax rate
  •  Startup-friendliness of labor laws
  •  Corruption perception index
  •  Top universities per location

With Ecosystem Health Checks available on StartupBlink PRO, you can view the parameter-specific performance of 100 countries.

StartupBlink excludes elements that might have an ambiguous impact on the success of a country, and only includes factors that have a clearly positive or negative impact. For example, slow internet or restrictions on internet use are likely to hinder the growth of a country as a Startup Business-Friendly environment, while the cost of living might have both positive and negative effects. Therefore, the cost of living is not included in the Business Score.

About Startup Business-Friendliness

As a startup, you want to choose a country that is supportive of your business. The Business Score is a measure of how friendly a country is to businesses like yours. A high Business Score means you’ll have access to fast internet, a supportive regulatory environment, and well-developed infrastructure, which can help your startup grow faster and more efficiently.

On the other hand, a country with a low Business Score may have obstacles like bureaucracy, red tape, or outdated infrastructure that can make it difficult for your business to operate and expand. If you’re considering starting a startup in one of these countries, you may want to carefully weigh the benefits and challenges. In some cases, it may be worth working with local authorities to improve the Business Score and create a more supportive environment for businesses. Our advice to these countries is to focus their resources on improving the business environment.

“If you are in an underperforming ecosystem that makes it difficult to succeed, either leave it or lead it. To foster a thriving startup ecosystem, policy-makers should prioritize reforms that streamline regulation, eliminate unnecessary bureaucracy, and invest in essential infrastructure.“
Eli David
CEO, StartupBlink

Top 10 Startup-Business Friendly Countries

As we evaluate the business environment score of each country, we considered how their score rank has changed compared to 2023 as well as the difference between Business Score Rank and Overall Rank in 2023. By examining these metrics, we present an overview of the startup-business climate in each country and how it has evolved over time. The table below displays the results for the 10 highest-ranked countries:

Getting deeper into the performance of countries, the chart below shows how the rankings on the business environment have changed over a year.

Moreover, while some countries had better positions in the overall rankings, their business environment rankings are lower. The chart below how the global and business environment rankings differ:

Key Insights

The United States Is Back to Its Leader Position

After a year of being away from the top position in the Startup-Business Friendliness Index, the US has reclaimed its spot by recording a 4-spot improvement in this subscore. This achievement solidifies the US as the leader in all subscores within our Index. Moreover, the US is the sole representative of North America; Canada lost 4 spots, causing it to fall out of the top 10 positions in this Index.

Top 10 Spots Are Dominated by Western European Cities

Western Europe holds the distinction of having the highest number of countries among the world’s most startup-business-friendly nations, occupying 6 out of the top 10 positions. However, this year, Sweden, Finland, and Denmark are ranking much lower compared to last year. Inside the PRO Report, explore an in-depth regional analysis on 5 regions.

Australia: Rising in the Business Environment Rankings

With only two countries from the Australia & Oceania Region, both New Zealand and Australia, take the top positions in the Startup-Business Friendliness Index. This was also the case last year; however, Australia is now ranked 2nd by moving up 6 spots.

startup business friendly

United Kingdom: A Slight Decrease

startup business friendly

The United Kingdom, while maintaining its global standing at the 2nd spot, has experienced a slight drop of 1 spot in the business environment rankings compared to the previous year.

Singapore: Best-Startup Business Environment in Asia

Singapore has made a remarkable jump, ascending by 43 spots this year. It now stands as the 4th best business environment in the world and the leading one in Asia. Congratulations to Singapore! The Startup-Business Friendliness Index 2023 available on PRO further explains the score parameters that makes Singapore climb 43 spots.

Sweden: A Shift in Ranking

Sweden has lost its position as the most startup-friendly country globally and now ranks at 5th position, below several countries that it surpassed in the previous year. Sweden’s current business environment ranking aligns with its overall rank in 2023.

Norway: A New Top 10 Entrant

Norway has joined the top 10 cities for the business environment after rising by 11 spots this year. Its current position is 17 spots higher than its overall rank, highlighting Norway’s strength in its business environment. You can further explore how Norway’s business environment contributes to its overall rank.

New Zealand: Maintaining a Strong Position

New Zealand is the only country that has maintained its ranking from the previous year. This accomplishment is commendable, as it positions New Zealand 24 spots higher than its overall rank.

Germany: A Steady Position

Startup Business Friendly

Germany solidifies its place among the world’s most startup-friendly countries with a 1-spot improvement. However, its current position still falls below its overall rank.

Denmark and Switzerland: Remaining in the Top 10

Denmark and Switzerland hold the 9th and 10th positions in the business environment rankings. Although they have both lost ground compared to the previous year, Denmark is still 10 spots higher, and Switzerland is 1 spot higher than their respective overall ranks.

Which countries are not among the top 10 for Business Environment?

Despite holding top positions in the overall rankings, some countries are not displayed on this ranking due to low business environment scores. China, Russia, and Brazil are a few countries that have significant potential due to their large populations and high overall rankings but couldn’t make it into the top 10 when it comes to the business environment. On the other hand, there are also countries that aren’t in the top 10 neither globally nor on the business environment parameter, but they still hold noticeable positions in the business environment rankings, such as Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, and Taiwan.