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  • Jérome Bloch

Europe’s Elusive Entrepreneur Start-up Ecosystem

With herds of unicorns breeding in the U.S., and even more so in China, Rupert Hoogewerf, Chairman of the Hurun Report, says Europe needs to learn the A, B, C of creating an Entrepreneur Start-up Ecosystem by tapping into and inspiring its raw talent to help create successful, global companies.




China’s Millionaire Boom

We've never had as good a year in terms of wealth creation as we've seen in China in the last year. Our Hurun China Rich List, of the most successful entrepreneurs in China, has identified no less than 700 new faces taking the number of entrepreneurs worth more than €300 million close to 2,500. The dynamics of wealth creation has also changed: previously people made their money from real estate and manufacturing. Now the growth in wealth from healthcare demonstrates the improved quality of wealth creation. Five years ago, China and the US ranked about equal in our world billionaires’ rankings with 500 each. China has now doubled their “super wealth creators,” and has 300 more than the US.


“A lot of countries, including the European Union, should be asking themselves how they could pull all those elements together to create such a complete entrepreneur start-up ecosystem.”

Beijing Breeding Billionaires

China is using the raw talent coming from its universities; they've got a lot of entrepreneurs or “super wealth creators” to call on as mentors and they have a complete professional investor network to call on. These include venture capitalists, private equity firms as well as strategic investors among successful entrepreneurs. Added to that they have a lot of government programs, business associations and tech associations. A lot of countries, including the European Union, should be asking themselves how they could pull all those elements together to create such a complete entrepreneur start-up ecosystem. If ecosystems start in somebody else's country, that is where the entrepreneurs will be creating super wealth, paying taxes and hiring great talent.

How to Breed Unicorns

China is also making huge progress in the creation of unicorns, businesses worth more than $1 billion that have not yet been listed or merged with a larger entity. The Hurun Global Unicorn List catalogues about 800 unicorns today. China and America have more than 80% between them - 400 and 300 respectively. With the help of LAFO, Europe can promote the green shoots of the fourth industrial revolution led by unicorns, many of them run by under-30s entrepreneurs. If you get it right, Europe can nurture the most dynamic companies by learning the A, B, C, of the fourth industrial revolution where “A” stands for AI, “B” for blockchain, “C” for cloud, D for data, down through the alphabet to “U” that stands for unicorn.

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