*Singapore Tops Global Ranking
The Ashish J Thakkar Global Entrepreneurship Index of 85 countries, a research conducted by Mara Foundation and Opinium Research, to examine the state of entrepreneurship around the world, shows Singapore as the best environment in the world to be an entrepreneur.
Namibia ranked 42nd, the best among its African peers, coming 42nd overall – ahead of other prominent African markets, such as the continent’s major hubs- Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa
Specifically, the index assesses each of the 85 countries against a set of criteria, including: policy, infrastructure, education, entrepreneurial environment and finance.
Behind Namibia, which trailed China on the global scale was followed by Rwanda (43rd) and Botswana (44th), in the naugural index with special ‘Focus on Africa’ section taking a deeper look at ‘women in the workplace’ and ‘youth unemployment.’
African hub- South Africa ranked 46th, performing well on the ‘Policy’ pillar but have some way to go to improve on their infrastructure and education in particular.
According to a statement by Carys Comerford-Green of Mara Foundation, “of the top three African countries in the Index, Namibia and Botswana are stronger on the education pillar because of comparatively higher levels of literacy and quality in education. Both countries have made education central to their development.”
African countries scored lower scores for education, the foundation noted, due to the overall quality of education and lower literacy rates.
“Boosting opportunities for a quality education is imperative for increasing the region’s quality of entrepreneurs and start-ups and providing a suitable workforce,” the statement added.
Rwanda was rated high on the Policy and Finance Pillars, driven by government initiatives to increase the ease of doing business. Credit is easily available and business transparency is high.
Zambia scored particularly well on the Finance Pillar (72), because of the availability of credit and a low total tax rate.
Zambia, South Africa and Rwanda, the top three in Africa on the Finance pillar, scored 72, 66 and 65 respectively. Zambia therefore ranked among the top 10 countries globally on the Finance Pillar, just behind the USA (78).
Commenting of the ranking, Rona Kotecha, Executive Director of Mara Foundation said the “index offers a powerful insight into various elements that impact entrepreneurship globally. Whilst Mara Mentor enables and empowers entrepreneurs, the Index and its 20 policy recommendations are designed to provide a starting point for changes that can be implemented to create more effective entrepreneurial environments. This, in turn, will lead to job creation and a positive impact on economies around the world.”
Ashish J Thakkar, Founder, Mara Group & Mara Foundation said: “Through the work of Mara Group over the past 20 years, I have come to recognise the immense contribution that entrepreneurs make to economies and societies around the world – particularly in relation to job creation. In recent years, however, it has become more and more apparent that governments and the private sector are simply not doing enough to support entrepreneurs in their endeavours. With the creation of this Index, we hope to provide some solid policy recommendations that will help guide discussions and improve entrepreneurial environments globally.”
Also commenting, Dr Akinwumi Adesina, President of the African Development Bank commended “Ashish J. Thakkar and the Mara Foundation for creating this timely index.
“It provides useful insights on how Africa can unlock the potential of its youth and boost entrepreneurship. As populations are aging rapidly in much of the rest of the world, Africa can reap the economic dividends of its growing labor force. Africa is poised to become the next center for entrepreneurship, but we must provide Africa’s youth with the required skills and create an environment that will enable them to become the business leaders of tomorrow,” he assured.
Also, Mo Ibrahim, Founding Chairman of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation said: “Entrepreneurs are a great engine for development. In Africa, you need to encourage and create the right environment for their success. I really wish to congratulate The Mara Foundation for developing its important index which is a useful tool for all of us.”
Richard Branson, Virgin Group Founder, while expressing delight, said “The Mara Foundation has done some great work supporting entrepreneurs all over the world.”
The new entrepreneurship index, he believes “will help identify opportunities for business, not-for-profits and Government to work together to create the right environment for entrepreneurs to thrive and to create jobs.”
The Ashish J Thakkar Global Entrepreneurship Index 2016 is the brainchild of serial entrepreneur, Ashish J Thakkar, who started his first business at the age of 15. The Index is a Mara Foundation initiative that has been developed with support from independent research consultancy, opinion, to create a wide-ranging and thorough analysis of the state of entrepreneurship globally.