Brussels falls short of top spots in best cities for entrepreneurs ranking

Brussels falls short of top spots in best cities for entrepreneurs ranking
While Brussels fell short of landing among the top ten cities for entrepreneurs across different industries, a new ranking showed that the Artificial Intelligence sector was booming in the Belgian capital. Credit: Unsplash

A new ranking of the best cities for entrepreneurs saw Brussels trail behind cities like Lisbon, Amsterdam and Berlin but showed the Belgian capital was one of several European cities where the artificial intelligence market was booming.

Berlin-based moving start-up Movinga looked at a total of 75 cities across the world which are "renowned for their entrepreneurial spirit," giving each city a general score and also naming the best ones for each market.

Brussels was listed 46th in the ranking, landing just ahead of Frankfurt or aviation hub Toulouse but trailing several spots behind other capitals like Paris, Vienna, Berlin or Milan.

London took the number one overall spot in the ranking and Barcelona landed on the second spot, followed by New York and Singapore, which took the third and fourth places respectively.

The study looked at a score of criteria to create the 2019 version of the ranking, going from the number of days to set up a business and the incorporation costs to the logistics and hospitality ecosystems.

Brussels was the only city in Belgium to earn a spot among the 75 cities included in the ranking, as opposed to countries like Germany or France, which each saw five cities included in the ranking.

The study, promoted by public relations group Sweet Spot, found that Lisbon was the number one city for those looking to start a restaurant business, followed by Barcelona and Istanbul, with Brussels landing at the 45th spot just ahead of Cape Town and Seoul.

San Franciso's "flourishing tech ecosystem, large access to talent and venture capital" earned it the top spot for entrepreneurs in the tech and digital markets with London, New York and Singapore listed close behind.

For entrepreneurs in the imports and exports business, the ranking lists Singapore as the best choice, citing the Asian megapolis' "well-established logistics ecosystem and excellent access to markets" as a reason for its landing just ahead of other logistics hubs Shanghai and Amsterdam.

In both of the latter business sectors, Brussels is ranked at the 46th spot, earning poorer scores than cities like Warsaw and Budapest for the digital and tech markets and than Paris, Berlin or Athens for the logistics market.

According to the ranking, one of the perks of setting up a business in Brussels is the relatively short period needed to go through administrative procedures, which, just as in Paris, Tallinn, Oslo or Dubai, averages four days, in contrast with Wellington and Auckland, the only two cities where a single day suffices.

Lastly, the ranking shows that in Brussels, just as in image of Amsterdam, Helsinki, London or Stockholm, the main industry for growth in terms of popularity among entrepreneurs was artificial intelligence, a sector which leads the tech and digital sector as it takes the number one sector of growth in a total of 19 cities.

Gabriela Galindo

The Brussels Times

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