Small Businesses Around the World

Around the country and around the globe, find out what small businesses share in common and how they differ.

Entrepreneurship can be rough no matter where you live in the world. From the long hours and weekends spent working, to the non-existent holidays and the difficult task of finding the right employees.

Some of the biggest concerns that American small business owners face today are insurance costs (such as liability and health), rising energy costs, and taxes. In other countries such as the United Kingdom and Australia, small business owners tend to be more concerned with excessive governmental red tape.

As challenging as it can be to run a small business, however, workers in other countries struggle even more today just to make ends meet. For example take the country of Mali in Africa where over 70 percent of the people live on less than $1 a day. Consider that the next time you go through the drive-thru at McDonald’s and order your 99 cent double cheeseburger.

As much as people like to complain about all of those taxes that the U.S. government takes out of our paychecks, they should be thankful that we don’t follow Sweden’s tax model. Sweden’s income taxes are some of the highest in the world and can reach 56 percent for many individuals. A business owner in the United States with a small fleet of vehicles may be forced to close or cut back on staff, if gasoline prices were as high as they are in some European countries. Drivers in Amsterdam pay almost $7 a gallon for regular unleaded gasoline. In Venezuela, on the other hand, gas averages about 12 cents per gallon.

The challenges facing small business owners vary from country to country, based on the overall business climate as well as the necessary regulations required of each geographic location. While U.S. entrepreneur Phil Beenes can score contracts at the local Pizza Putt miniature golf course, that probably wouldn’t be ideal if he lived in Iceland.

Despite all of these differences, small owners around the world share one common goal. They are all looking to grow their businesses and continue to be successful.

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