The London-based Centre for Policy Studies identified nearly 1,000 SuperEntrepreneurs from 53 countries by analyzing Forbes’ list of the world’s richest people from 1996 to 2010. To qualify as a SuperEntrepreneur, a business person had to have earned at least $1 billion. The report did not include those who had inherited their billions, or inherited a smaller fortune and had grown it into a billion-dollar sum.
The goal of the report was to identify the government and policy infrastructures that best support these superstars of entrepreneurship. After all, these SuperEntrepreneurs are good for the countries where they run their businesses, often creating millions of jobs.
Hong Kong and Israel have more self-made billionaires than any other place, when considered as a percentage of total population. The United States, Switzerland and Singapore rounded out the top five.
Low taxes and low regulation are correlated with higher percentages of SuperEntrepreneurs, according to the report. Government programs to support entrepreneurship did not correlate with the percentage of SuperEntrepreneurs, the report found.
“The results indicate the American Dream – the notion that it is possible for individuals to rise to the top through effort, luck and genius – is not yet dead. Self-made billionaire entrepreneurs have created millions of jobs, billions of dollars in private wealth and probably trillions of dollars of value for society,” the report says. “Moreover, the American Dream is increasingly the Global Dream.”