Switzerland as One of the Ten Best Start-Up Nations

In a recent article published by startupticker, Switzerland was titled as one of the ten best start-up nations in accordance with the recent Global Entrepreneurship Index (GEI). GEI, published by the Global Entrepreneurship Development Institute (GEDI), measures the quality and dynamics of entrepreneurship ecosystems at a national and regional level.

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GEI 2016 ranked Switzerland as 8th in the world. In 2015, Switzerland was ranked 9th. In the European region, Switzerland is currently ranked 4th.

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Strengths and Weaknesses of Switzerland

The GEDI’s index shows that Switzerland performs better with respect to the institutional environment than with respect to the capabilities and goals of the entrepreneurs.

Particular strengths of Switzerland noted were:

  • High percentage of start-ups with innovative products
  • High percentage of start-ups with products in niche markets with a not too competitive environment
  • Early internationalisation
  • Availability of a highly qualified work force
  • Availability of formal and informal venture capital
  • Risk acceptance by the founders

Particular weaknesses:

  • Low share of founders planning to have more than ten employees
  • High share of entrepreneurs lacking entrepreneurial skills
  • Low share of entrepreneurs recognizing valuable business opportunities
  • Reason for starting a business is usually not a business opportunity

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According to the report, Swiss start-ups are innovative, active in attractive niche markets and are going international early. Compared to the best start-up ecosystems however only relatively few founders aim for strong growth. Quite a lot of entrepreneurs start their business not because of a business opportunity but because they want to develop innovative products.

The good performance regarding the risk acceptance and the availability of venture capital is surprising. However, one reason for the risk acceptance could be that the goals of the founders are not very ambitious. They accept the risk of failure because the risk is comparatively low. The reason for the strong performance regarding venture capital is presumably caused by the strengths of the life sciences in industry in Switzerland. This means that it is only true for life sciences start-ups but not for ICT companies.

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Click here to access a detailed online report on Switzerland by GEDI.