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London best city in the world for entrepreneurs, ranking shows

The UK capital tops a list of 75 global cities based on criteria such as the strength of the tech ecosystem.

By Sifted reporters

Credit: People cross the Millennium Bridge in London, a city recently ranked the best in the world for entrepreneurs. Credit: Yulia Chinato on Unsplash

It’s easier than ever for entrepreneurs to choose where they want to work and found companies — and the pandemic has accelerated the decoupling of geography and talent further. But where exactly is the best place for an entrepreneur? 

A survey released Thursday by Lithuanian-founded dropshipping platform Oberlo says that London is an entrepreneur’s best bet. Dropshipping is the practice of purchasing a product from a third party and selling directly to a consumer without holding inventory. 

The only other European cities to make the top 20 were Berlin in eighth place, Paris in 12th place, Copenhagen in 18th and Munich in 19th.

Oberlo’s list ranked 75 global cities based on criteria such as the strength of the tech ecosystem, government Covid-19 support, the time it takes to set up a company and access to fundraising and global markets. Given Oberlo’s dropshipping background, the ranking also takes into account postage prices — a key consideration if you’re a direct-to-consumer founder. Postage was cheaper in cities in emerging economies such as Turkey, Malaysia and India. 

London got the highest score in the categories for tech ecosystem and venture capital. The data is normalised, with 100 being the best score.  

Interestingly, Reykjavik came in eighth place in terms of ease for women to start businesses despite ranking only 70 overall; Reykjavik also has a high concentration of female VCs. German cities also got high marks for logistics;  four of the top 10 cities for the strength of the logistics system were German. 

The lowest ranking European cities were Zagreb, Croatia, in 72nd place; Bratislava, Slovakia, in 74th place and Sofia, Bulgaria in last place. Given the success of Bucharest, Romania-founded UiPath, investors say that Central and Eastern Europe are likely to be hotspots for innovation and entrepreneurship in the future, despite regulatory hurdles and less access to capital than in larger hubs.

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Ben Judah
Ben Judah

I’m stunned to not see Tel Aviv on that list! From what I can tell from the data, the ‘Human tech capital’ figure seems way off, and potentially skewed by their high postage price.