UK ranked fourth in the world for entrepreneurs' impact on the economy

UK ranked fourth in the world for entrepreneurs' impact on the economy
Dan Martin
Dan MartinDan Martin Content & Events

Posted: Tue 23rd May 2023

The UK is fourth in the world and second among G7 countries in a new ranking of how entrepreneurship impacts economies.

According to the analysis of 40 countries by Shopify, UK entrepreneurs using the ecommerce service generated £28.8bn of business activity in 2022 and £14.3bn in GDP impact in 2022.

The report also found that UK entrepreneurs grew exports by 8% with £3.2bn of goods sold internationally. This was second only to the US where companies generated $7.3bn in export sales.

On employment, UK businesses supported almost 200,000 jobs and when it comes to location, the analysis found 60% of UK entrepreneurs are based in rural areas and 40% urban. This shows how digital technology means that where a business is based is not a barrier to growth.

The need to support UK entrepreneurs

Although the UK ranked fourth in the world for GDP impact in 2021, the figure was a 1% decline compared to 2021. The UK's business activity number also fell by 1.1%.

The report warned that with other countries boosting their entrepreneurial activity, the UK needs to focus on supporting small business owners to maintain its global ranking.

Deann Evans, director of EMEA expansion and partnerships at Shopify, said:

"As other nations bolster their support ecosystems, provisions need to be made if the UK is going to maintain its status as a leader amongst the G7 economies."

Also commenting on the analysis, Jack Kennedy, UK economist at Indeed, said:

"Though there is growing optimism that the UK will avoid recession this year, there are signs of a softening labour market, so opportunities to enable entrepreneurship, support jobs and encourage economic growth are a welcome sign both nationally and globally.

"Entrepreneurship is key to small business growth, which is critical as these companies make up a significant part of the UK economy."

Entrepreneurs' global impact

Topping the global league of entrepreneurs' economic impact was the US followed by Lithuania and Romania. The Czech Republic was in fifth place.

In total, business owners around the world supported 5.2m jobs in 2022, an increase of 8.3% on the year before, with exports rising 7% to £27.7bn.

In addition, entrepreneurs globally contributed $229.3bn (£184.63bn) to GDP (8.8% increase) and $490.5bn (£425.52bn) in economic activity (8.6% increase).

Relevant resources

Dan Martin
Dan MartinDan Martin Content & Events
I'm a freelance journalist and event host who helps small businesses and the organisations that support them. I'm also Enterprise Nation's news reporter and Bristol Local Leader. I have 20 years of experience as a small business journalist having interviewed hundreds of entrepreneurs from famous names like Sir Richard Branson and Deborah Meaden to the founders behind brand new start-ups. I've worked for a range of leading small business publications and support groups, most recently as head of content at Enterprise Nation where I was responsible for the prolific output of content on the company's blog and social media. I now freelance for Enterprise Nation as the website's news reporter and as the host of the Small Business sessions podcast. I'm based in Bristol where I run and host regular events with the local small business community in my role as Enterprise Nation's Local Leader for Bristol. I also have strong connections with other major business organisations in the south west region. In total, I've hosted over 100 events including conferences with an audience of hundreds for international brands like Xero and Facebook and live web chats from inside 10 Downing Street. With my partner, I co-run Lifestyle District, a lifestyle blog focused on culture, art, theatre and photography.

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