World Facts

The Worst Countries To Start A Business

Most of the countries with the fewest opportunities worldwide are located in Africa, such as Chad and Niger.

A country’s strong and solid ability to provide its people with ample opportunities to better themselves plays a very important role in determining its overall success. This importance is not only in terms of entrepreneurship and economic status, but also in such fields as education and health. For small- and large-scale entrepreneurs alike, one of the most difficult challenges today is that of finding the opportunity to expand their businesses, and in the process provide products and services that nobody else has thought of before. With this in mind, the Legatum Institute has therefore presented an updated list of the Countries with the Least Opportunity in the World today.

The Sub-Saharan African Region

Sub-Saharan African countries ranked the lowest in the UK-based think tank’s list of Countries With the Most Opportunity in the World. Such countries as the Central African Republic, Chad, Niger, Haiti (which is the exception here, not being located outside in Africa), Guinea, Ethiopia, Djibouti, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Sierra Leone, Togo, Malawi, and Burkina Faso are also among the poorest and least progressive nations in the world. The majority of these countries are also suffering from drastic situations, after having been repeatedly stricken by either war, hunger, disease, poverty, political unrest, or a combination of these factors. This region has a multitude of various natural resources, but these resources are also among the most abused and misused, not only by those within the countries, but also by international organizations and businesses abroad.

Entrepreneurship and Opportunity is one of the eight sub-indices that the Legatum Institute makes use of when determining a country’s overall prosperity. All of these are given their individual scores, and the aforementioned countries came out with weak scores in many, if not all, of these sub-indices. Other countries, some of which are not necessarily located in sub-Saharan Africa but still with low Entrepreneurship and Opportunity scores, are Angola, Mali, Zimbabwe, Benin, Syria, Iraq, Sudan, Yemen, Uganda, Cameroon and Rwanda.

The Case of Ethiopia

Ethiopia has one of the fastest growing economies in the world, due largely to the huge role being played by small enterprises in its economic progress and advancement. Possessing the second-largest population of all the countries in sub-Saharan Africa, its small industries currently have taken a strong stand in the effort to bring the country's economy out of the rut. Labor-intensive industries in particular are expected to benefit significantly from Ethiopia’s large population of no less than 88 million people.

Causative Factors for Poor Rankings in Opportunity

Low rankings for safety, security, and economy, also affects countries' respective Entrepreneurship and Opportunity rankings. Countries considered to be generally dangerous and unsafe, such as Nigeria, Republic of Congo, Niger, Sierra Leone and Guinea, also scored the lowest in terms of Entrepreneurship and Opportunity, which is as can be expected. The heavy presence of Boko Haram, a notorious terrorist group, in Niger is a strong deterrent that keeps it from ranking high on not only the Entrepreneurship and Opportunity sub-index, but also in terms of education. Other sub-indices that greatly affect Entrepreneurship and Opportunity rankings are those dealing with personal freedom, social capital, health, governance, and, of course, economy.

Ranking Of The Worst Countries For Entrepreneurs

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CountryLegatum Index Worst Entrepreneurship/Opportunity Ranking
Central African Republic1
Chad2
Niger3
Haiti4
Guinea5
Ethiopia6
Djibouti7
Burundi8
Democratic Republic of the Congo9
Sierra Leone10
Togo11
Malawi12
Burkina Faso13
Republic of Congo14
Angola15
Mali16
Zimbabwe17
Benin18
Syria19
Iraq20
Sudan21
Yemen22
Uganda23
Cameroon24
Rwanda25

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