New research has indicated that the UK is among the top global performers for prosperity and will overtake the US by 2014.
The Legatum Prosperity Index found Britain has climbed one place in the worldwide prosperity rankings in 2012 (13th) – as well as improving its Governance, and Safety & Security sub-category rankings (7th and 20th respectively).
In addition, the UK is fast becoming a global hub for entrepreneurs, ranking 6th in the world for entrepreneurship and opportunity – thanks largely to the low start-up costs for new business.
Jeffrey Gedmin, president and chief executive of the Legatum Institute, said: “At a time of stagnant growth, entrepreneurship will be a key catalyst of recovery.
“In order to take advantage of the opportunities on offer, UK citizens must be empowered with belief, drive and inspiration, and be given access to the ingredients needed to succeed – such as favourable business conditions, and access to capital.”
However, poor economic performance and low confidence in the health of the UK economy could hold back Britain’s prosperity. The UK fell four places in the Economy sub-index since last year, now ranking in 26th position.
According to the Index, job satisfaction is particularly low in Britain. Just 12.3% agree that it is a good time to find a job, compared with 26% in the US and 59% in Brazil.
Interestingly, Germany has scaled the Economy rankings – rising from 8th to 6th place – reporting higher levels of confidence in their financial institutions (47% compared to the UK at 39%) and high levels of satisfaction with their living standards (89% report being satisfied). In the UK, our satisfaction with living standards is 84.5%.
Gedmin added: “GDP alone can never offer a complete view of prosperity, which goes some way to explaining why the UK has climbed the global rankings despite slow economic growth.
“In order to ensure it remains competitive, keeping in step with its European neighbours, Britain must focus on growth without losing out in other areas such as governance.”
However, a report from Viking - supplier of office supplies to small and medium sized businesses – has claimed almost one in five small business owners admit they had to sell or remortgage their home in order to gain enough capital to start-up or run a business.
Many respondents also said they had been forced to sell their property completely and move back in with their parents, and 32% admitted they had personal debt, such as loans or credit cards, tied in with the business.
“The implications of having to sell or remortgage a property are substantial, not just concerning business, but with family too,” John O’Keeffe, commercial director at Viking, said.
“The issue here is with regards to funding – it is inspiring to see that so many entrepreneurs are deciding to start their own business, but it is apparent that there is a lack of money available to support these businesses”