The Best (and Worst) Countries to Integrate Entrepreneurship In Formal Education

22. October 2015



When following politics it’s common to hear politicians talk about how important entrepreneurship is for the future. It’s very difficult to question the importance of a country’s entrepreneurial performance. It’s of huge importance for the innovation, job creations and to attract foreign investments.

But how do a country get more (and better) entrepreneurs? One way is to incorporate it in the formal education. In my opinion this should be the absolute first steps. Kids in primary school has to know about entrepreneurship as a possible way in life, just as the learn that it’s possible to become a teacher or a doctor.

I always wondered why there wasn’t more about entrepreneurship in primary school, so I decided to see which countries did best in this area… And it turns out my own country comes in #1. I hope something changed since I left primary school or else it’s pretty sad that Denmark is number one on this list

The data is collected by the amazing Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, a partnership between over 200 institutions. GEM has collected data about global entrepreneurship for 16 years and does over 200.000 interviews each year.

Without further ado, here is the top 10 list (their score is based from 1-5, 5 being the best):

Education + entrepreneurship

The United States is places #26 overall (Fear of failure: 29.11%).

Why did I include fear of failure?

GEM also collects data on fear of failure, which is defined as “Percentage of 18-64 population (individuals involved in any stage of entrepreneurial activity excluded) who indicate that fear of failure would prevent them from setting up a business”. So why did I include that?

I think it’s super interesting to see, that even though Denmark is #1 in education, the country is way behind on fear of failure (16th worst performing country). We could have included any other parameter here (like tax and administration), it just goes to show that a country’s success with entrepreneurship is super complex and a combination of many things.

Being high on one parameter doesn’t make the country an overall entrepreneurial success, but it’s a good start and where the long term success begins from.

And the losers

In the bottom of the scale the list looks like this (worst first):

  1. Bukina Faso
  2. Uruguay
  3. Brazil
  4. Greece
  5. Kuwait
  6. Chile
  7. Japan
  8. El Salvador
  9. Puerto Rico
  10. Australia


Data is from the Global Enterepreneurship Monitor ( and from their latest data set (as of October 2015). The score is based on interviews with a minimum of 36 experts in each country.

Pictures from different countries via Flickr (commercial use allowed) from the following users: romanboed, qin1109, nathanhayag, aidanmorgan, justinjensen, fran001, tausp, marfis75, franciscoantunes, dahlstroms