The Global Entrepreneurship Index 2016

Covering 85 markets, 92% of the world’s GDP with more than 2,000 addressable data points, the ‘Ashish J. Thakkar Global Entrepreneurship Index’ is a powerful tool that measures entrepreneurial environments around the world.

Opinium supported the Mara Foundation on their initiative to create a wide-ranging and thorough analysis of the state of entrepreneurship globally. The Index relies on 25 indices across five broad pillars: government policy, infrastructure, entrepreneurial environment, education and finance. 

Western success, but Singapore tops the Index

The top ten markets in the Index are predominantly developed Western countries. These are mostly English speaking markets, such as New Zealand and the UK (which came fifth overall), but this also a sizeable amount of Nordic countries.

However, Singapore was declared the most entrepreneur-friendly market in the Index, with strong performances in the policy and financial pillar.

The table below shows how the top ten markets performed across the five pillars that comprised the Index:


The United Kingdom, in fifth place, also does particularly well on the financial pillar, leaving it in a strong position as Brexit looms.

“The Mara Foundation has done some great work supporting entrepreneurs all over the world. I’m delighted to see their new entrepreneurship index that 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.”

Richard Branson, Virgin Group Founder

The Index and the Pillars

The Infrastructure and Policy pillars had the highest correlation with the final results indicating that countries that have the right policies and infrastructure to support entrepreneurial behavior
are more likely to succeed.

The Entrepreneurial Environment pillar had the lowest correlation with the final results highlighting that certain jurisdictions may be open to new technological concepts and have a high status of entrepreneurship, but are unable to follow through due to poor government policy and/or infrastructure.

“The Ashish J. Thakkar Global Entrepreneurship Index will be a valuable tool to identify and create environments where entrepreneurs can thrive.”

Arianna Huffington, Founder & CEO, Thrive Global

Focus on Africa

As anyone who has been to Africa will tell you, the people of its varied and diverse countries share a common entrepreneurial spirit. However, Africa as a continent comes much lower down the Ashish J. Thakkar Global Entrepreneurship Index.


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.

What Rwanda lacks in terms of the quality of education, it makes up for in policy. Rwanda has some of the highest scores in the Index for public sector performance, labour market flexibility and business transparency, placing it 27th out of all 85 countries for policy, above South Korea, Israel and Portugal.

“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.”

Mo Ibrahim, Founding Chairman of Satya Capital Limited, Founder and Chair of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation


The Index allows us to draw out key policy recommendations along the lines of five pillars for a variety of different types of markets. However, the key conclusions can be summarised as follows:

  1. Foundations are being built
  2. Easy access to labour and finance are vital
  3. Some regulation is needed
  4. We should all be involved

To read the full inaugural Ashish J. Thakkar Global Entrepreneurship Index, click on the icon below to download an electronic copy:

AJT Global Entrepreneurship Index 2016