Entrepreneurial spirit rising in UK

Britain climbed one place in the worldwide prosperity rankings in 2012 as well as scaling the Governance, and Safety & Security sub-categories and ranks amongst the world’s 30 ‘Top Performers’ for overall prosperity

Economy – the thorn in Britain’s side
However, poor economic performance and low confidence in the health of the UK economy could hold back Britain’s prosperity. The UK fell four places in the Economy sub-index since last year, now ranking in 26th position.

According to the Index, job satisfaction is particularly low in Britain. Just 12.3 per cent of people agree that it is a good time to find a job, compared to the US compared to the US with 26 per cent.

In addition, the proportion of ICT exports also dropped to 1.9 per cent of total exports from 2.2 per cent.

By contrast, Germany has scaled the Economy rankings – rising from eighth to sixth place – reporting higher levels of confidence in their financial institutions and high levels of satisfaction with their living standards. UK citizens’ satisfaction with living standards is down on last year, dropping to 84.5 per cent.

Jeffrey Gedmin, President and CEO of the Legatum Institute, said: “The Legatum Prosperity Index allows us to paint a comprehensive picture of what makes a country truly successful, encompassing traditional measures of material wealth, as well as capturing citizens’ sense of wellbeing – from how safe they feel, to their perceived personal freedom.

“GDP alone can never offer a complete view of prosperity, which goes some way to explaining why the UK has climbed the global rankings despite slow economic growth. In order to ensure it remains competitive, keeping in step with its European neighbours, Britain must focus on growth without losing out in other areas such as Governance.”

But good news for entrepreneurial Britain
According to the Index, low start-up costs for new businesses are a key factor in the UK’s strong Entrepreneurship & Opportunity score. Start-up costs in the UK are low at 0.7 per cent of Gross National Income, compared to the global average of 20 per cent.

Britain ranks in sixth position in the Entrepreneurship and Opportunity sub-index, behind Scandinavian nations Denmark, Sweden and Finland (first, second and third respectively) but well ahead of traditionally strong export economies, including Hong Kong, Japan and Taiwan (15th, 23rd and 24th respectively).

In addition, British citizens have increasingly equal access to opportunities (measured on a scale of 1-10, with one being equal and 10 being unequal), falling from 4.7 to 4.2 over the last three years.

Mr Gedmin comments: “Entrepreneurship, opportunity and good governance are time and again proven as significant drivers of prosperity. And, at a time of stagnant growth, entrepreneurship will be a key catalyst of recovery. In order to take advantage of the opportunities on offer, UK citizens must be empowered with belief, drive and inspiration, and be given access to the ingredients needed to succeed – such as favourable business conditions, and access to capital.”