A recent special report in the Economist on entrepreneurship included an article on the World Bank annual Doing Business report.
I have to confess to not having heard of this before. It is a ‘naming and shaming’ report which rates countries for their business-friendliness, by measuring business regulations, property rights and access to credit.
Since the first edition in 2004 it has resulted in more than 1,000 reforms across the 180 countries on the list.
Most of these have been in developing countries, with the top reformers of 2007-8 being Senegal, Burkina Faso and Botswana.
However, the developed nations have not stood still either, with efforts to make it easier to start a new business. In Canada it is now possible to start a business using just one form.
According the the Economist article, Robert Litan of the Kauffman Foundation, suggests the World Bank may have done more good by compiling the Doing Business lists than a significant part of the enormous funds it has lent over the years.