Ireland ranks as Europe’s most entrepreneurial country

21 Nov 2013

Ireland is Europe’s most entrepreneurial country, having attracted four times as much venture capital per capita as the European average, an analysis by The Wall Street Journal reveals.

In its analysis, The Wall Street Journal examined Dow Jones VentureSource data on the total amount of venture capital raised by tech companies in each European country since 2003, divided by population to get the per capita figure, then averaged it out over the 39 quarters.

Despite the recession, Ireland’s tech start-ups held up well, according to The Wall Street Journal. Of the country’s 311 venture capital-backed deals since 2003, 131, or 42pc, came in 2009 or later, VentureSource said.

Ireland’s total deal value from the first quarter of 2003 through the third quarter of 2013 amounted to US$1.28bn. Average deal size per capita in the same period totalled US$278.73.

Venture capital isn’t the only factor that has placed Ireland at the top of the European start-up heap. The country’s corporate tax rate, at 12.5pc, is among the lowest in Europe, and technology giants, such as Apple, Google, Facebook, Twitter and Microsoft, who have established a presence on Irish shores, have helped inspire start-ups.

That’s according to Noel Ruane, European venture partner for Polaris Partners LLP, The Wall Street Journal reported. The venture-capital firm has offices and investments in Ireland.

The paper quoted Ruane as having said Ireland has a young, highly educated population that has participated in huge value creation in those tech giants.

“That has whetted and fuelled their appetite to do the same on their own,” said Ruane.

Behind Ireland, Europe’s most entrepreneurial countries are Sweden, the UK, Finland, Denmark, the Netherlands, Norway, France, Germany and Switzerland. Croatia, Romania and Bulgaria round out the bottom three.

European flags image via Shutterstock

Tina Costanza was a journalist and sub-editor at Silicon Republic