Ireland moved from bottom ranking three years ago to 36th place as it reported improvements in almost all categories. Social entrepreneurship is gaining momentum, up 16 points to 17th place, while more social entrepreneurs can make a living from their work, up 17 spots to 21st place.

With little data on the global social enterprise sector, the Thomson Reuters Foundation in 2016 conducted the first global survey of experts on the Best Countries for Social Entrepreneurs to look at the climate for this growing sector in the world’s 45 biggest economies. This year we repeated the survey again, looking at the changes in the past three years with some surprising results.

Here are 8 highlights of the 2019 survey which is under embargo until 12:00 BST Oct. 22 from when it can be found on

  1. Canada – Canada was named as the best country for social entrepreneurs in 2019, up from second place three years ago, with women and young people taking a more active role in the growing sector that can easily access investment and sell to government and the public.
  2. Biggest movers – Teaching social enterprise in schools in Pakistan has helped make the south Asia nation one of the biggest gainers in the second global poll on the best countries for social entrepreneurs, with Australia and the Netherlands also surging up the ranking.
  3. Biggest drop since 2016 – The United States and Britain are no longer considered among the best places for business leaders seeking to do good, with experts citing political upheaval as a reason for dampened optimism. The United States has plummeted in the second global survey on the best countries for social entrepreneurs, with experts blaming a lack of support from the government and difficulties in accessing investment for a slump in the sector in the past three years.
  4. Britain – While Britain overall slumped in the second global survey on the best countries for social entrepreneurs, in Scotland the sector is thriving due to government support.
  5. Public perception – Most people do not understand what social entrepreneurs do even though there is growing momentum in many countries for businesses with a mission to create some social good.
  6. Hot spots – The Colombia city of Medellin, once known as the murder capital of the world and epicenter of the nation’s drug wars, was named as one of the world’s hot spots for social entrepreneurs after years of funding from local authorities.
  7. Young people – Nigeria’s youth are breathing new life into businesses set up to do good, with Africa’s largest economy named among the top countries where young people are playing a leading role in social enterprises.
  8. Poor performance – Mexico is failing to get businesses with a mission to do good off the ground, coming last in the second global survey on the best countries for social entrepreneurs due to a lack of support from the government and other businesses.

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