Sometimes, as we work diligently with our heads down, it’s easy to forget that the entrepreneurial sphere extends beyond American waters. But startups are not only growing abroad, they’re thriving.
That’s why we asked a panel of 14 entrepreneurs from the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) where they see great opportunities beyond the U.S.
Q. What is one country (besides the U.S.) where you see great opportunity for startups to succeed and why?
Their best answers are below:
Israel is a hotbed of entrepreneurial activity. There is a lot of technology and business talent in the country, and despite the small market, Israel’s proximity to Europe, Asia, and Africa as well as the high proficiency of English speaking in the country, makes it easy for startups to scale and succeed. Healthy capital markets and strong M&A activity in Israel help, too.
– Doreen Bloch, Poshly Inc.
Hardware startups might look to China to get things off the ground. In Shenzhen, there is a hardware accelerator called HAXLR8R that helps startups with mentorship and funding. Manufacturing a physical product can be really risky. With so much of the world’s manufacturing being sent to China anyway, it would be ideal to start a business in close proximity to where its products will be built.
– Ronnie Castro, Porch
3. St. Lucia
Entrepreneurs should look for locations that have an eager, educated, and able workforce. One example is St. Lucia. Due to high unemployment, it’s a good place to hire people that speak English. St. Lucia is also small enough that a business can establish contacts with local government and receive support. Another benefit is the cost of living is relatively low.
– Ben Rubenstein, Yodle
4. New Zealand
You can start a business in just one day in New Zealand because there are few restrictions. There’s also easy access to credit to fund your business, and its business environment is very user-friendly. – Andrew Schrage, Money Crashers Personal Finance
During the past few years, U.S. companies have begun building up operations in Serbia. The country is rapidly becoming a European center for application development, IT outsourcing, and programming. There are many reasons for this, including Serbia’s well-educated and multilingual workforce, competitive wage structure, and attractive incentives for foreign IT investment.
– Michael Costigan, Youth Leadership Specialist
If you’re all about online business and employee happiness, Barcelona is a great bet because it’s sunny and beautiful, cosmopolitan, has a large English-speaking community, offers up to three-times lower in development salaries than major U.S. cities, and has a growing startups ecosystem.
– Pablo Villalba, 8fit
Australia is a great market for startups to succeed. The country not only has a young and educated workforce but also attracts highly qualified immigrants. It is very close to Asian markets, which tend to prefer successful brands from Australia. – Evrim Oralkan, Travertine Mart