The Innovation Champions League
Whilst there’s no overall measure of entrepreneurship, the report covers contribution, perceptions about being an entrepreneur (the US does particularly well here) as well as motivational index, societal value, gender equality and so on.
The report also ranks every country by sector, being which countries contribute most to global entrepreneurship in that business area. It’s a sort of measure of how much of the global innovation in that sector is generated by each country. The UK’s best performance is in Information and Communications Technology, where it ranks 3rd overall, comfortably ahead of the US (ranked 15th) but behind Sweden (ranked 1st). We also score well in Finance/Admin (3rd again) and Professional Services (6th ). We do less well in Agriculture and Wholesale/Retail so clearly a nation of traditional rather than innovative shop keepers.
It’s also interested to look through the perception and value scores. Here, the UK has had problems, as being an entrepreneur has not been traditionally seen as a top flight calling. But that’s changed, and the UK is now ranked 12th globally in terms of the societal value attached to being an entrepreneur. We’re still some way behind the US though.
And the growing status of entrepreneurs is helping to create more innovative and start-up businesses. The UK has over 2 million small businesses, compared to anything between 1.3million and 1.8million in Germany, France, Italy or Spain. However, we are facing talent shortages, with 71% of SME’s stating that they cannot find the skills in the UK to compete on a global stage.
And it’s not just start-ups that need the best innovative and technology skills. Productivity is a key theme of the UK March budget and not surprisingly – 32% of the productivity growth in the UK has come from changes in technology, derived from science and innovation. Yet the UK government invests only 1.8% of GDP in scientific research, compared to say 2.7% in the US and 2.8% in Germany.
So whilst the government is a little indifferent to supporting innovation, it’s good to know that more and more of our innovative entrepreneurs are succeeding and what’s more, as a society we’re recognising just how useful they are.
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