Why entrepreneurship matters for your travels

Written and Published February 25, 2017

You may know this already, but all the way back in 2003 I used to run a blog called TJ's Weblog, which focused on entrepreneurship and venture capital.The domain has since been taken over over by a spammer (I let it lapse) and my content has gone, but archive.org has all the content from the past.

Part of what I focused on with this site was the shape of entrepreneurship in different countries and how it shaped their economies in the past.As you may have noticed, there are countriesthat even have creaking infrastructure, yet travel still feels easy and they area joy to discover. In ourThings to do Guides, you'll see tons of options of where to eat and many distractions for you in some of thesedestinations.

Why entrepreneurship matters for your travels

Generally,it is more fun to travel in a country that has:

  • a service culture

  • curious people (an entrepreneur should always listen to new ideas to enhance their own business)

  • a better level of English (no entrepreneur can succeed without English)

  • affordability through competition (because of the sheer amount of competing entrepreneurs)

In general, entrepreneurs are not Silicon Valley money monsters, but in most economies (and especially for visitors) they make life easier, less bureaucratic and cheaper.

There are two major organizations that rank entrepreneurship per country that come out with reports every year:

Why entrepreneurship matters for your travels

However, reading through these reports is a bit like reading the Human Development Index, which does not highlight newcomers or rising countries that have translated entrepreneurship into adding more tourist arrivals.

As a hobby, I'm trying to build a better measure for entrepreneurship and how satisfying a visit (or a longer stay as a digital nomad) to a country will be.

What's bad for entrepreneurship:

  • A commodities boom (this usually leads to a Dutch disease, due to the inflated domestic currency)

  • Small cliques of insiders who discourage newcomers with better/cheaper products

  • Bureaucracy

I'm still working on a better way to build an index of entrepreneurship per country (or - even better maybe - per city) that is quantifiable but focuses on newcomers and areas with high growth in the next 20 years instead of just focusing on OECD member countries like GEM and GEDI do.

What are your observations?