This study investigates which countries have the highest potential to achieve entrepreneurial progress. This progress is defined as an entrepreneurial ladder with five successive steps: ‘never thought about starting a business’, ‘thinking about it’, ‘taking steps’, ‘running a young business’ and ‘running a mature business’. The influences of individual-level and country-level variables on the progression through these stages are analysed. Data from twenty-seven European countries and the United States are used (2007 Flash Eurobarometer Survey on Entrepreneurship). Findings show that in the United States many people think about setting up a business, whereas Europeans are better at achieving higher levels of engagement. Country differences can be explained mainly by levels of risk tolerance and economic development. A country's level of administrative complexity does not play a role, but individual perceptions of this complexity are a hindering factor.

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Regional Studies
Erasmus Research Institute of Management

van der Zwan, P., Verheul, I., Thurik, R., & Grilo, I. (2011). Entrepreneurial Progress: Climbing the Entrepreneurial Ladder in Europe and the United States. Regional Studies, (2011-10-04), 1–23. doi:10.1080/00343404.2011.598504