Where is the best place to start a business in Europe?

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Daniel Rodwell


Europe is a hub for entrepreneurs and start-up businesses looking to establish themselves in a lucrative market. With its diverse and dynamic business landscape, Europe offers a variety of opportunities for businesses to thrive. However, determining the best place to start a business in Europe can be challenging.

One of the key factors to consider when choosing a location for your business is the ease of doing business. This includes factors such as the regulatory environment, access to funding and talent, and the overall cost of doing business. According to the World Bank’s 2020 Doing Business report, the top three countries in Europe for ease of doing business are Denmark, Norway, and the United Kingdom. These countries have efficient regulatory systems, strong protections for investors and intellectual property, and a highly skilled workforce.

In addition to ease of doing business, another important factor to consider is the level of innovation and entrepreneurial activity in a given location. Europe is home to several established start-up ecosystems, including London, Berlin, and Stockholm. These ecosystems have a strong entrepreneurial culture, with a large number of incubators, accelerators, and venture capitalists supporting early-stage businesses. The European Start-up Monitor (ESM) reports that the top three countries for start-up activity in Europe are Germany, the United Kingdom, and France.

The historical alterations of the European business landscape are significant, as they have shaped the current state of the market. Europe has a rich history of innovation and entrepreneurship, dating back to the Industrial Revolution in the 18th and 19th centuries. During this time, Europe was a global leader in manufacturing, with countries like the United Kingdom, France, and Germany dominating the market. The 20th century saw significant changes in the European business landscape, including the rise of the service sector and the globalisation of trade. In recent years, the advent of new technologies and the increasing popularity of social entrepreneurship have further transformed the European business landscape.

One of the most notable changes in the European business landscape in recent years has been the growth of the start-up ecosystem. Europe has become a hub for innovation and entrepreneurship, with several established start-up ecosystems and a growing number of early-stage businesses. According to the ESM, the European start-up ecosystem has grown significantly over the past decade, with the number of startups in Europe increasing by 25% between 2015 and 2019. The report also notes that European startups are attracting more investment than ever before, with total funding increasing by 87% between 2014 and 2019.

Another significant trend in the European business landscape is the increasing importance of sustainability and social responsibility. In recent years, there has been a growing recognition of the need to address environmental and social issues through business. The European Union has been a leader in promoting sustainable business practices, with initiatives such as the EU Green Deal and the Sustainable Finance Action Plan. Many European businesses are also adopting social entrepreneurship models, which aim to create positive social and environmental impact alongside financial returns.

In terms of statistics, it is worth noting that the start-up ecosystem in Europe is highly diverse, with significant regional variations in terms of investment, talent, and innovation. According to the ESM, the United Kingdom and Germany continue to dominate the European start-up landscape, accounting for 56% of all European startups. However, there are several emerging ecosystems in other parts of Europe, including the Nordic countries, the Baltics, and Southern Europe. These regions are seeing significant growth in start-up activity, with a growing number of incubators, accelerators, and venture capitalists supporting early-stage businesses.

While there is no one-size-fits-all answer to the question of where to start a business in Europe, the region offers a wealth of opportunities for entrepreneurs and start-up businesses. Whether you choose to establish your business in an established start-up ecosystem like London or Berlin, or explore emerging regions like the Baltics or Southern Europe, there are a variety of factors to consider in order to maximise your chances of success. By doing your research and understanding the market landscape, you can make an informed decision about where to start your business in Europe.