When we think about start-up companies, giants like Facebook and Google often come to mind. Though dominating forces today, such businesses didn’t simply come to be hugely successful overnight. These ventures had their humble beginnings somewhere – and the location of their inception can be said to have played a big part in helping shape their success.
So where is the best place for a new and ambitious start-up to set their roots? With a number of factors considered – here are ten of the best (and perhaps surprising) choices that would be fertile ground for exciting new companies.
The island of Gibraltar has become an attractive prospect for new tech companies, and has even been touted as “a future Silicon Valley” by business leaders. An immediately apparent advantage of having a business in Gibraltar is the generous tax breaks for new companies. Banks that are willing to handle tax-efficient earnings are ample here; even more so than in traditional havens such as the British Virgin Islands or the Seychelles. With a corporate tax rate of 10%, the profit margins of young companies can remain relatively untouched.
China has become known as an industrial powerhouse in recent years, with access to efficient labour in the technology sector. The country set up a fund of $6.5billion specifically for investment in start-ups, showing a shift in focus from traditional engineering and manufacturing jobs, to one of enterprise and entrepreneurship.
There may not be the same tax breaks in Berlin as you would find in the likes of Gibraltar or the Isle of Man, but Berlin’s young workforce and strong start-up culture offers the perfect atmosphere for entrepreneurs. Besides an abundance of business workshops, conferences and meet-up, Berlin also benefits from being an exciting centre of technological innovation.
Believe it or not, but the country’s capital Sofia has one of the lowest rates of income tax in the world at just 10%. This makes the city an attractive place for young workers to find employment at start-ups or establish their own business. Interestingly, Sofia also has a particularly fast internet speed – in fact, it ranks amongst the 20 highest speeds in the world.
Cities such as Cairo are full of young and educated people now looking to be their own bosses and break into the technology industry. Resources such as crowd-funding are enabling them to establish successful businesses in need of manpower. With this new wave of entrepreneurs, Egypt has become a great place for creating a start-up company.
Cities like Bangalore, Pune, New Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai are now seen as fantastic opportunities for entrepreneurs to establish start-ups. Over 1.3 billion people now live in India, making it a close second to China by population. What’s more – a great deal of the workforce consists of ambitious engineering graduates.
Although not blessed with the provision of limitless incentives, it is possible to launch a start-up here at a lower cost than what can be found elsewhere. With a dozen start-up events each week in India’s main cities, start-ups can also enjoy the hive of activity for like-minded entrepreneurs.
A change in attitudes in the last ten years across the Middle East has opened new doors to businesses – particularly start-ups. A desire to connect the country’s citizens and engage them in social and political discussion has made it a location with a lot of new creative and innovative ideas.
The first rule for any new business is to try and turn a profit. This is made a lot easier for a company when it can obtain tax breaks and refunds to improve cash flow. This is the case in Malta where businesses can reduce the corporation tax liability from 35% down to between 0% and 5% through various refund schemes. Malta’s positioning is very advantageous in that is a full Member State of the European Union, giving it ready access to an unencumbered market of half a billion people. In recent years, Malta has also become famous as a business hub for igaming business, with many of the most popular online poker sites operating from the island.
Singapore has long been considered a strong hub for shiny new businesses, but is now held back by its size and the cost of living and working there. Malaysia, on the other hand, offers a much cheaper alternative. Malaysia also presents a larger ‘test market’ for new companies, which also plays host to several different nationalities (namely Chinese, Malaysian, Indonesian and Indian).
If ever an endorsement was needed for fast moving tech companies, Google opened a campus in Warsaw at the end of 2015. Poland in general is becoming more involved in start-up businesses in an attempt to modernise its economy and attract investment. Bitspiration, a festival for start-ups and the biggest of its kind in Eastern Europe, has so far attracted “world-class experts, companies and innovators, start-ups and investors”. It is a clear statement of intent from the government to encourage its youth to be enterprising and bold in business.