AA view of The Bank of England and the City of London financial district in London, Britain
UAE, Saudi Arabia and Taiwan are among the countries that have surpassed the UK on the global league table for entrepreneurship Reuters

The UK has fallen down the rankings on a global league table for entrepreneurship.

The Global Entrepreneurship Monitor report measures the appetite and entrepreneurial ecosystem in 51 countries. As part of its remit, it also looks at the ease of starting up and considers how supportive different national cultures are to its own entrepreneurs in comparison to others.

The UK hit its highest rank in 2020 when it came in at number 14 following the pandemic. But for the past two years, it has slipped behind other countries, and now ranks number 25 out of 51, behind other comparable economies such as the US (15) Germany (17) and France (18).

The top five entrepreneurial national positions are now held by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) (1), Saudi Arabia (2), Taiwan (3), India (4) and the Netherlands (5).

The UK report is led by Professor Mark Hart, professor of small business and entrepreneurship at Aston Business School in Birmingham.

The report said UK scores on Entrepreneurship Framework Conditions (ERC) which compare key characteristics with other nations, went down including diminishing government support and access to finance.

But the UK compared relatively well in comparison with other countries in sustainable entrepreneurship and the measure of sustainable development goals.

Last month the UK Chancellor Jeremy Hunt insisted that the UK can become the next technology superpower. However, it's still too early to tell how the Chancellor's "Four E's" plan will affect the entrepreneurship numbers in the nation - especially on the sustainability front.

According to the report, the bright spot for the UK's entrepreneurial performance was the Government's Help to Grow: Management Course. The initiative gives senior business leaders one-to-one support from an experienced and fully rated business mentor included in 50 hours of leadership and management training across 12 weeks, with the UK government covering 90% of the costs involved. Training is delivered via a national network of over 50 business schools.

Speaking on the recent findings, Emma Jones, CBE, founder and CEO of small business support platform Enterprise Nation said: "The GEM Monitor has consistently shown the UK's progression in these measurements, so it's a damning indictment to see the nation slip down the table in the last 12 months.

"Entrepreneurs are innovators. They are starting and running businesses at their own risk. They need a supportive ecosystem in which to thrive."

Emma's company Enterprise Nation was part of a consortium that was appointed by the Government to create a national network of mentors to support SME leaders to grow their businesses on the Help to Grow: Management Course.

She added: "It was hopeful to see the course referenced by the report as one of the key improvements in UK Government entrepreneurial programmes. Over time, the course is expected to create a legacy that will improve business skills, build a bank of experienced mentors and help to change the UK's position in the league table."

The report pointed to a higher quality of entrepreneurial ecosystems emerging in the East compared with the West.

By Liz Slee

Liz Slee is the head of media for small business support platform Enterprise Nation. A former journalist with a background in policy and public affairs, Liz focuses on keeping small businesses and start-ups front and centre of the broader media and policy agenda. That means telling the very real and brilliant stories about the UK's small business community and the work Enterprise Nation and its partners do to support them. She occasionally contributes to International Business Times UK.