Switzerland, Singapore and the US top global survey on best nations for nurturing entrepreneurial talent and competitiveness

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Switzerland, Singapore and the United States place top three in a global survey that focuses on nations’ abilities to attract and retain entrepreneurial talent, a vital contributor to economic success in today’s competitive market.

A crucial factor in any nation’s economic success is to ensure that the best possible talent is attracted to and placed in key industries, and that it remains there and does not go elsewhere looking for “greener pastures”.

The 2019 Global Talent Competitiveness Index (GTCI), conducted by French business school INSEAD, along with tech firms The Adecco Group and Tata Communications, studied four categories for encouraging entrepreneurship and constant innovation – different nations’ abilities to enable, attract, grow, and retain entrepreneurship.

Excerpts from the report explain the four pillars of the GTCI model:

“Attracting talent, in the context of national competitiveness, should be viewed in terms of luring foreign valuable resources, both productive businesses (through foreign direct investment and the like) and creative people (through high-skilled migration), while internal attraction is focused on removing barriers to entering the talent pool for groups such as those from underprivileged backgrounds, women, and older people.

Growing talent has traditionally meant education, but its definition should be broadened to include apprenticeships, training, and continuous education as well as experience and access to growth opportunities (although we may acknowledge that most skill development occurs through experience, much remains to be done to conceptualise and measure its role). The more talented the person, the wider the global opportunities he or she can find elsewhere.

Retaining talent is thus necessary to ensure sustainability, and one of the main components of retention is quality of life.

In addition, the regulatory, market, business, and labour landscapes within a country facilitate or impede talent attraction and growth; the GTCI classifies these elements as parts of the Enable pillar.

Together, Enable, Attract, Grow, and Retain constitute the four Input pillars of the GTCI model.”

These four major points were then sub-divided into smaller categories such quality of life, and quality of educational institutions. Each country was then awarded a score out of 100.

The report, which was published on Monday, January 21, 2019, found Switzerland, Singapore and the US in the top three spots globally. Out of the top ten placers, Singapore and the US are the only non-European countries on the list.

Chart: Top ten placers in the Global Talent Competitiveness Index 2019/GTCI-2019-Report

Switzerland came out on top, with an overall score of 81.82 out of 100, with Singapore as a runner-up with 77.27 and the US in third place at 76.64.

The report found that the highest-ranking countries and cities tend to be the most open to entrepreneurial talent and that digitalisation and globalisation are increasing the role of entrepreneurial talent.

According to the report, AsianLatin American and African countries are seeing a continued and progressive decrease in their talent base, and that talent issues have become a shared and poignant concern for businesses, nations and cities, with talent performance seen as a critical factor to growth and prosperity.

The report noted that the gap between the leaders in talent competitiveness and the rest of the global community has been widening. Talent competitiveness is growing in nations where it is already quite high and decreasing in those countries where it is already relatively low.

“In the top ten of talent competitiveness ranking, only two non-European countries can be seen: Singapore and the USA. This underlines that Europe remains a talent powerhouse, but also that countries with great universities and a strong education sector are best at attracting talents,” said Bruno Lanvin, Executive Director, Global Indices, INSEAD, and co-editor of the report.

“Entrepreneurship appears to be a decisive talent to succeed; all types of organisations have to attract and enhance entrepreneurial talent, in an era where ecosystems around the globe are drastically reshaped by digital transformation,” noted Felipe Monteiro, INSEAD Affiliate Professor of Strategy, Academic Director, and co-editor of the report. 

“As the world of work rapidly changes, there is a danger that if countries and cities do not have the right conditions for attracting talent, people and businesses will move away and look for opportunities elsewhere,” remarked Alain Dehaze, Chief Executive Officer, the Adecco Group.

“The concept of openness is critical for entrepreneurial talent, and business culture plays a key role here. Businesses and cities need to work hand-in-hand to cultivate cultures of intrapreneurship and a mindset of continuous learning above all else, as the human factor is key to the success of digital transformation” explained Vinod Kumar, Chief Executive Officer, Tata Communications.

The report measured levels of Global Talent Competitiveness by studying 68 variables. The 2019 index covers 125 national economies and 114 cities (respectively 119 and 90 in 2018) across all groups of income and levels of development.

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