Europeans don’t admire entrepreneurs all that much
Lots of studies show that the U.S. is by far the most entrepreneur-friendly in the world, at least as far as government and tax policies go. But, it also seems that basic attitudes towards entrepreneurship differ from one nation to another.
That’s according to a new study conducted by a European Union commission.
First, there’s the matter of just how much people admire small-business founders. Fact is, in this country, entrepreneurs are close to heroes, all-American, independent-minded, do-it-yourselfers, the heart and soul of our economy. So, it’s not surprising that 73% of Americans have positive opinions of entrepreneurs.
But, apparently, that admiration is not shared by others. The study found that just 49% of EU residents have the same high opinion of entrepreneurs.
At the same time, a significant number of Europeans–45%–want to be their own boss. That’s substantial, especially when compared, say, to the Japanese, where 39% have that preference. But it doesn’t compare to the number of those in the U.S. who’d like to be on their own. (55%).
When you drill down to specific European countries, however, you see different patterns. In Cyprus and Greece, for example, a preference for self-employment is even larger than in the U.S. (Perhaps a good thing in Greece, where entrepreneurship may be the only way to make a living right now). But, in Slovakia, Belgium and Denmark, a mere one third of the population or less wants to be an entrepreneur.
But, where’s the strongest preference for entrepreneurship?
It’s China, where 71% of the population studied wants to be self-employed. Whether that’s thanks to encouragement from government policy or reluctance to work for such companies as Foxconn , with their grueling, totalitarian-like policies that have contributed to a recent spate of suicides, is unclear.
But, it’s quite a remarkable finding.