Denmark, Finland Lead World in Positive Attitude towards Entrepreneurship

    It may come as a surprise to the humble Danes and Finns, but they come in first and second as having the most positive attitude towards entrepreneurship in the world, according to the Amway Global Entrepreneurship Report compiled by the University of Munich. The rest of the countries we cover were not present in the 24 countries the report interviewed.

    Below is a quick copy of the report’s findings. The percentage in parentheses is the percentage of people with a positive attitude towards self employment.

    This year again, the Danish (89%) keep heading the ranking of polled countries, when it comes to positive attitude towards entrepreneurship. Second and third place go to newly added countries: Finland with 87%, and Australia follows with 84%. Like last year, respondents in Austria (40%), Hungary (40%), Portugal (39%), and Germany (37%) show the most negative attitude.

    The U.S. came in at a 48% positive attitude towards entrepreneurship, which does not fit the common narrative. Still, as pointed out by @FastrBooks on twitter, the whole U.S. is not Silicon Valley.

    Does Finland need a National Day of Failure anymore?
    It’s somewhat surprising to see Finland up there on the charts, since the grey beards in the Helsinki startup scene have told me not that long ago when they were starting companies, the response from their friends and family was along the lines of, “Oh, you couldn’t get a job at Nokia?”

    This report is also interesting because Finnish entrepreneurs say that they’re still getting over the stigma of failure in Finland. It’s apparently so much of a problem that Aalto Entrepreneurship Society organizes a yearly “National Day of Failure” where successful entrepreneurs and TV personalities talk about all the ways they’ve failed before making it to where they are today.

    They write on their manifesto, “Our mission is to help people overcome fear of failure and learn to get the most out of it. Odd as it may sound, we believe this can be achieved through celebration of failure. And there is no doubt that this will be an uphill battle.”

    The Day of Failure runs yearly on October 13th. This year we forgot to do any coverage on it because it fell on a Sunday, which was a failure we grudgingly embraced. Despite that, the campaign has apparently been successful.

    The Amway report can be downloaded here (PDF warning)