The Thomson Reuters Foundation, the corporate charity of Thomson Reuters, the world’s largest news and information provider, has conducted a survey in 45 of the world’s biggest economies as ranked by the World Bank to find out which countries are creating the best environment for social entrepreneurs.

In each of the 45 countries, we contacted 20 experts focused on social entrepreneurship: academics, social entrepreneurs, investors, policy-makers and support network staff.

Respondents' area of expertise (estimate)*

* The breakdown of respondents is an estimate since respondents were allowed to select more than one option for their area of expertise.

This sample size was deemed to be sufficient to provide statistically reliable data with a low margin of error. In one country, Iran, the Thomson Reuters Foundation was unable to guarantee the necessary sample of experts so Iran was dropped from the list.

The survey was carried out in collaboration with StarMine, a Thomson Reuters company specialised in models and analytics, and UnLtd, a UK-based foundation for social entrepreneurs, with sponsorship from Deutsche Bank.

Questions We Asked

Click a question below to explore a summary of the key findings and see the polling results.

The Polling

The questionnaire was drafted by the Thomson Reuters Foundation in collaboration with StarMine, UnLtd and Deutsche Bank.

The Thomson Reuters Foundation survey results were based on a minimum of 12 experts in each country.

Our list of experts was compiled with the assistance of UnLtd and in consultation with the major international social enterprise organisations as well as the key groups in each country in the survey. The list also reflected Google searches of the most prominent social entrepreneurs in each country and those most active on Twitter and other social media.

In total, 880 experts were surveyed with 619 responses, which corresponds to a response rate of 70 percent. Of the respondents, 48 percent were women.

Polling Data

Download the full poll data. *(Zipped Excel documents).

Results have been rounded to one decimal place. When two or more countries scored equal, they were assigned the same ranking number. A gap, corresponding to the number of countries that tied for a position minus one, was then left in the ranking. For example, in the main ranking Brazil and Japan tied for the 40th position and received the same ranking number (40). One position was left out, and the next country, Venezuela, ranked 42nd.

Women's Poll

The rank of countries where women fare best as social entrepreneurs takes into account two questions: representation in leadership roles in social enterprises and the gender pay gap. Data from the two questions were combined to draw up the final rank.

The Sampling

The Thomson Reuters Foundation conducted this survey online between June 9 and July 15, 2016. Those interviewed included academics, social entrepreneurs, investors, policy-makers and support network staff with a focus on social entrepreneurship.

The Foundation attempted to interview a broadly representative sample based on gender and area of expertise, whilst acknowledging the difficulties arising from researching a relatively new and developing field. In certains countries polled, the number of experts in the social entrepreneurship field was only just sufficient to provide a satisfactory pool of respondents. Access and quality of telecommunication systems, as well as the language barrier, made some countries more accessible than others. For these reasons, no weighting has been applied to the figures.

About 50 percent of the respondents identified themselves as social entrepreneurs. The other half of survey respondents comprised of experts as defined above. This breakdown of respondents is an approximate estimate since respondents were allowed to select more than one option for their area of expertise.