Peter Drucker om Startup Europe
In Tallinn young people take part in a technological boom that has made Estonia the European country with the highest number of entrepreneurs per capita. Estonia is one of the few European countries that have transformed parts of its economy into a more entrepreneurial one, and it is starting to pay off. According to French economists at CEPII (Centre d’Etudes Prospective et d’Informations Internationales) Estonia will reach to the same level of living standard as the Nordic countries in only ten years.
However, Estonia does have one big challenge. Russian-speakers have not been able to handle the transition from a Soviet-led planned economy to a modern market economy. Until 1991, heavy industries were successful, but they have now closed.
Another country that is becoming more entrepreneurial is Great Britain. The country is experiencing a wave of ”entrepreneurship across almost all industries”, as professor Mark Hart of Aston University points out in our book Startup Europe[i], the Brits are among the most entrepreneurial in Europe.
There are huge benefits. Since 2011, unemployment has fallen from 8.5 to 5.1 per cent. Entrepreneurs have created 40 per cent of the new jobs.
But the transition towards an entrepreneurial society has its costs. Wage growth has been slow. In the Bank of England`s report “Self-employment: what can we learn from recent developments?”[ii], the bank wrote that the lack of increasing tax revenues and the boom of self-employed were the result of a structural shift within the labour market.
If we compare Estonia and the UK to the Scandinavian countries and Germany, it highlights one major challenge for a more entrepreneurial society. It is harder to regulate businesses, and to a certain extent, it demands more of the population itself. Skills are not always enough; you also need the drive to both start and grow your own business.
About the authors:
Nicolai Strøm-Olsen is a Norwegian author and editor.
Hermund Haaland is the founder and International Director of the Oslo-based think tank Skaperkraft.
Their recently released book is ”Startup Europe” (Frekk Publishing, Oslo, 2016).