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The Type of Business Every Country Wants to Start



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Map of the most searched businesses by region

The Type of Business Every Country Wants to Start

View a higher resolution version of this map.

Every year, millions of new businesses are started across the world—in 2021, nearly 5.4 million new business applications were filed in the U.S. alone.

And since startups and new businesses play a significant role in shaping a country’s economic growth, encouraging entrepreneurship is vital. But what types of businesses around the world are people most interested in starting?

These maps by ZenBusiness show the most popular types of businesses that entrepreneurs in nearly every country want to start, based on analyzing relevant internet search results.

Most Searched Businesses Around the World

To source the data, ZenBusiness analyzed searches from Ahrefs, specifically looking for the term “start a business” and its equivalents in local languages as of February 2022.

They then found the relevant topic or keyword with the highest search volume, and organized the results into 11 different industries:

  • Beauty & Cosmetics
  • Food & Drink
  • Logistics & Infrastructure
  • Personal Services
  • Recycling
  • Software Development
  • Business & Financial
  • Leisure & Tourism
  • Marketing
  • Real Estate
  • Retail & E-Commerce

The data showed that the industries entrepreneurs are most attracted to vary greatly from country to country, depending on a variety of factors such as infrastructure, business climate, and culture.

Here’s a breakdown of the most searched businesses around the world, broken down by region.


Map of the most searched businesses in Africa

From cooking gas refills in South Africa to supplements in the Gambia, entrepreneurs across Africa seem to be interested in starting a wide range of businesses (at least according to their searches).

But while the results varied across the region, the most-searched industry was personal services such as cleaning, interior design, and contracting. Cleaning was especially popular, ranking first in six different African countries.

One African country worth highlighting is Morocco, where freight is the most-searched startup term across the country. This makes sense considering Morocco is home to several major ports, including the Port of Tanger Med, which is Africa’s largest port by cargo capacity.


Map of the most searched businesses in Europe

In Europe, real estate is the most-searched industry, ranking number one in seven different countries across the continent. Over the last decade, the European Union’s real estate market has boomed—between 2010 and 2021, home prices in the EU increased by 42%.

Retail is also a popular industry across Europe, with clothing-related searching taking the top spot in five different European countries.

Middle East & Central Asia

Map of the most searched businesses in the Middle East

From soap production in Uzbekistan to dropshipping in Azerbaijan, the Middle East & Central Asia have the most diverse searches compared to any other region.

One particularly interesting top search was in the United Arab Emirates, where imports and exports ranked first. The UAE’s economy is heavily reliant on trade, especially oil, which makes up 30% of the region’s GDP and 41% of public revenues.

Rest of Asia & Oceania

Map of the most searched businesses in Asia and Oceania

Asia and Oceania had an interesting mix of unique business searches. For instance, pig farming ranked number one in the Solomon Islands, and lawn moving took the top spot in New Zealand.

But generally speaking, retail was one of the most-searched-for business types across this region, with clothing taking the top spot in countries like Australia, Indonesia, and Singapore.

North America

Map of the most searched businesses in North America

Across North America, retail takes the top spot for most searched business type. In fact, the top searches in nearly half of the region’s countries are related to the retail or e-commerce industry.

The U.S. currently has the largest retail market in the world, although China is close on its heels. In 2021, America’s retail market was valued at over $6.5 trillion U.S. dollars.

South America

Map of the most searched businesses in South America

Food was the top searched industry across South America, ranking number one in half the countries across the region. In Brazil, sweets took the top spot, which might not be surprising considering the country is the top sugar cane producer worldwide.

Clothing was also a popular business idea, taking the top spot in five South American countries.

Which countries surprised you the most with their new business interest?

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This article was published as a part of Visual Capitalist's Creator Program, which features data-driven visuals from some of our favorite Creators around the world.

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Mapped: Average Wages Across Europe

In this map, we visualize average hourly wages across a variety of European countries, based on data from Eurostat.



A cropped heatmap representing the average salaries (in Euros per hour), across Europe.

Mapped: Average Wages Across Europe

This was originally posted on our Voronoi app. Download the app for free on Apple or Android and discover incredible data-driven charts from a variety of trusted sources.

Much and more has been written about the best countries in Europe to visit, sight-see at, or vacation in.

But the economic powerhouse of a continent also has eight of the top 20 largest economies, the biggest single-market area, and some of the richest countries in the world.

How does all of that translate into how much people earn across the continent?

We visualize the average hourly salary (in euros), across Europe in a heatmap. The bluer the hue, the higher the hourly salary. Data for this visualization comes from Eurostat and is current up to 2023.

Ranked: European Countries By Average Hourly Salaries

Luxembourg, Europe’s financial services capital, has the highest average salary (€47/hour) across the continent. The country also has the highest per capita GDP in the world.

Scandinavia’s Denmark and Norway also pay higher (€42/hour) though Sweden (€26/hour) falls more in the middle of the pack.

RankCountryAverage Salary (€/hour)
1🇱🇺 Luxembourg€47.2
2🇩🇰 Denmark€42.0
3🇳🇴 Norway€41.7
4🇮🇸 Iceland€39.5
5🇧🇪 Belgium€36.3
6🇮🇪 Ireland€33.3
7🇳🇱 Netherlands€33.0
8🇩🇪 Germany€31.6
9🇫🇮 Finland€30.5
10🇦🇹 Austria€30.0
11🇫🇷 France€28.7
12🇸🇪 Sweden€26.3
13🇸🇮 Slovenia€21.9
14🇮🇹 Italy€21.5
15🇪🇸 Spain€18.2
16🇨🇾 Cyprus€16.3
17🇱🇹 Lithuania€14.0
18🇲🇹 Malta€14.0
19🇵🇹 Portugal€13.7
20🇨🇿 Czechia€13.6
21🇪🇪 Estonia€13.6
22🇭🇷 Croatia€12.7
23🇬🇷 Greece€12.6
24🇸🇰 Slovakia€12.5
25🇵🇱 Poland€11.9
26🇭🇺 Hungary€11.0
27🇱🇻 Latvia€10.7
28🇷🇴 Romania€10.4
29🇧🇬 Bulgaria€8.1
N/A🇪🇺 EU€24.0

Note: The source has not provided data for Russia, the UK, Switzerland, Serbia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Liechtenstein, Andorra, San Marino, Monaco, and Vatican City.

Bulgaria records the lowest average salary in this dataset at €8/hour.

The map indicates Northern and Western Europe have higher average wages than Southern and Eastern Europe, reflecting the differences in economic development and wealth.

However, this split has not always been present. In fact, the reverse was true for many centuries. Mediterranean-based civilizations used to be some of the wealthiest in the world, benefiting greatly from the sea’s access across to Northern Africa and the Levant.

But by the 16th and 17th centuries, Atlantic Ocean trade opened up access to far bigger markets, driving up economic growth and wealth accumulation for the western half of Europe.

Naturally, the map of average salaries is also a reflection of the cost of living as well, influencing purchasing power, lifestyle choices, and overall economic conditions for individuals and families.

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