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Ecuador has the world's highest share of nascent entrepreneurs per capita at about 30 percent of the population. This measure is known as total early-stage entrepreneurial activity (TEA). But, does this mean that Ecuador is more entrepreneurial than the United States, which has a TEA of only 14 percent? The answer depends on how we define “entrepreneur”. 

One key global economic growth driver is the ability of an entrepreneur to bring a concept to market, adding to national income, providing new goods and services, and creating jobs. In doing so, innovative entrepreneurship contributes to the foundation of a stable and civil society. By this definition, the United States is the most entrepreneurial country in the world, according to the Global Entrepreneurship Index (GEI).

The GEI is a complex, multifaceted measure of national-level entrepreneurship ecosystems. GEI evaluates 14 components of the entrepreneurship ecosystems of 137 countries worldwide. For evaluation purposes, GEI defines entrepreneurship ecosystems as the “dynamic, institutionally embedded interaction between entrepreneurial attitudes, entrepreneurial abilities, and entrepreneurial aspirations by individuals, which drives the allocation of resources through the creation and operation of new ventures”.

  • According to the 2018 report, the top 3 countries based on the quality of entrepreneurial ecosystem are the US, Switzerland, and Canada - unchanged from the previous year. 
  • The 3 percent growth of the average GEI scores globally since last year's Index could influence global economic growth and add as much as $7 trillion to global GDP because institutions that support entrepreneurship contribute to the economy as a whole.
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