1. United Kingdom
Barrier to entrepreneurship index: 1.01
You wouldn't quite say business began in the United Kingdom, but certainly some of the oldest, largest companies were founded, and still operate, within the U.K.'s borders. Since this is a feature on the ease of entrepreneurship, though, perhaps it's best to set aside massive names like BP, British Airways and HSBC to focus on one of the world's most notorious businessmen, Sir Richard Branson. There is likely no face in global commerce more visible than Branson, the Virgin Group founder and chairman, who has made a habit of carving business success from newspaper headlines and tabloid buzz. Considering Branson, a poor student who suffered from dyslexia, turned his tiny record store into a multibillion dollar fortune, the U.K. seems like a fine choice to be ranked the top country in the world for aspiring entrepreneurs.
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