Johannesburg – South Africa ranked 46th in terms of its entrepreneurial environment in the Global Entrepreneurship Index for 2016.

South Africa scored 230 points on the index. The Ashish J. Thakkar Global Entrepreneurship Index 2016 looks at 85 countries.

The entrepreneurial environment in these countries are assessed across five pillars: policy, infrastructure, entrepreneurial environment, education and finance. The indices for these pillars were collected from a various sources, including the United Nations and World Trade Organisation statistics.

South Africa scored number 35 for policy, 42 for infrastructure, 51 for education, 36 for entrepreneurial and 66 for finance. Singapore topped the list with 395 points, followed by New Zealand with 394 points and Denmark with 388 points.

Namibia was the top performer for the African continent, ranking at number 42 with 241 points. This was followed by Rwanda with 240 points. Botswana came in at position 44 with 232 points. Zambia came in at number 55 with 214 points.

The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) performed the worst, scoring 94 points.

“Entrepreneurial growth is key to reducing unemployment and powering growth globally,” the report stated.

The aim of the index is to highlight which countries are performing well and which ones could improve.

Findings revealed that countries with the right policies and infrastructure to support entrepreneurial behaviour are likely to succeed. Europe performed well in this area as it has policies put in place by government that encourages entrepreneurship. New Zealand scored the highest with 96 points. Poor performers include Venezuela, Zimbabwe, and the DRC.

In terms of infrastructure, the Netherlands and Singapore both achieved the top places.

Infrastructure supportive of entrepreneurship includes having a stable supply of energy, a functioning transportation system, access to the internet, and a population connected with mobile phones, stated the report. Digital infrastructure is key to entrepreneurial growth.

African countries, though, have narrowed the gap in terms of digital infrastructure, said the index.