Germany ranks as best European country for startups

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Germany ranks as best European country for startups
A sign for start-up conference in Berlin in 2013. Photo: DPA

Germany is the best country in Europe for startups, according to a new study by a UK-based personal finance site NimbleFins.


Germany’s strong economy, easy access to venture capital, low cost of conducting business, and well-educated population helped the Bundesrepublik top the list of best European countries for new companies.

The United Kingdom, Ireland, Switzerland, and Estonia rounded out the top five countries, which was based on publicly-available data from sources like, but not limited to, the World Bank, OECD, UNESCO, and the World Economic Forum.

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NimbleFins assessed four categories for their rankings: economic health, cost of doing business, business climate, and labor force quality. Interestingly, Germany did not rank first in those lists, but the composite of its scores in those areas overall helped it snag its number one spot.

Chart provided by NimbleFins.

For example, the Netherlands topped the economic growth list as it assessed total Gross Domestic Product (GDP), GDP growth, unemployment rate, and GDP per capita. The Netherlands, though having a lower total GDP than Germany, experienced more GDP growth and more GDP per capita. Berlin was right behind Amsterdam in this category.

Looking at taxes and wages, the Czech Republic ranked as the top country for the lowest cost of doing business. Here, Germany ranked fourth behind Estonia and the United Kingdom.

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Behind Ireland, Germany had the second lowest corporate tax income rate at 15.825%. NimbleFin notes in their assessment of the top 12 European countries for startups none of them offer tax discounts to new companies or small to medium enterprises (SMEs), which is also an appealing consideration for new businesses.

The business climate ranking looked at diverse data regarding trust in the justice system, access to venture capital, competition, and funding availability. Germany was ranked second in this category with Denmark ranking first.

Lastly, 83% of of adults have an upper secondary education, behind countries like Czech Republic, Estonia, and Switzerland. However, the Bundesrepublik comes in at number 11 for tertiary education (26% having attended universities, trade schools and colleges). The only country with a lower rate is the Czech Republic.

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