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New Zealand: A top five location for millennials to start a business

10 Jul 2018

New Zealand has been ranked as one of the top three locations in the world for millennials who want to start a business – at least according to a UK insurance comparison agency called GoCompare.

According to the company, millennials and young entrepreneurs (otherwise known as the ‘global generation’) are happy to consider moving overseas for work opportunities, including their own business ventures.

So the company decided to conduct research to find out  the best places for millennials to start a business, measuring the ease of registering property, starting and running a business on a day-to-day level, trading across borders, and diversity, among other metrics.

While Talinn in Estonia took out the top spot for being a digital-savvy location, it also scored highly for its ease for registering property, starting, and running a business. Tallinn also has the best cost of living compared to all European, and North American cities.

Toronto in Canada took out the number two spot for being a leading city in tech innovation. It also scored highly for applying for credit, starting a business and paying taxes, making it the best location in North America for entrepreneurs.

Even our own little nation New Zealand squeezed in at third place, beating places such as Singapore, London, Vancouver, and even Silicon Valley.

“New Zealand is the best city for starting and running a business. They also rank fourth for biotech potential - with the highest density of PhD graduates in Life Sciences in the world. New Zealand also scores highly for diversity, making it one of the best places for women and immigrants to start businesses,” the report says.

It also highlights the Government’s role in helping startups grow, such as the Lightning Lab GovTech programmes.

Singapore followed as the fourth location for its reputation as a financial and technological hub. It’s also home to more than 270 fintech startups, which makes it a fintech frontrunner in Asia, GoCompare says.

Finally, London rounds out the top five. Its tech sector is fuelling the growth for its digital economy, the capital ranked 2nd for diversity (Silicon Valley in 1st), with 42% of business owners originally from outside the UK.

Despite a high living cost, London still scores highly amongst all other metrics, still making it a popular destination for entrepreneurs.

What makes these cities desirable? GoCompare says it’s about being digitally connected, especially where ‘location-independent entrepreneurs are set to dominate’.

Digitally-savvy cities

  •  Despite not featuring in the top ten, Moscow leads the way for public WiFi hotspots, offering a total of 41,250
  •  Featuring at number 26, Helsinki offers the fastest internet connectivity, racing ahead with 17.4mbps
  •  Ironically, those inside of the top ten, including Silicon Valley and London offer some of the slowest WiFi, at 3.7mbps

Diversity is key

Diversity in business broadly equates to fairer representation across the whole of society. In this study, diversity was ranked according to the relative number of businesses with female and/or immigrant founders.

  •  Silicon Valley led the way on the diversity front, with London taking second.

Cost of living

Millennials around the world are notoriously trapped by soaring rents and ever-less attainable property ladders.

  •  Of the top ten, the stats reveal that most have a relatively high cost of living, however, Ottawa and Vancouver are notable exceptions
  •  Perhaps surprisingly, Singapore ranked as having a higher cost of living than London.
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