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The 10 best countries in Europe for an e-commerce start-up

The 10 best countries in Europe for an e-commerce start-up

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Unlike many industries in the past year, e-commerce has thrived and revenue within the market is predicted to top £361,305 million in 2021. Across the continent, annual growth rates are expected to reach 5.2%, which means start-ups and growing brands can take full advantage of the opportunities that many European countries provide. 

Attributing to the growth are some of the biggest ecommerce start-ups in the world: Lithuanian online marketplace, Vinted, Swedish food waste fighter, Karma, Estonian ride-hailing app, Bolt and – of course – the British takeaway staple, Deliveroo. 

New research from hosting.co.uk has ranked 30 countries across Europe to see which is the best for entrepreneurs to begin a consumer facing e-commerce start-up. To determine the ranking, hosting.co.uk looked at economic health, business environment, infrastructure setups, government tax incentives and the success history of e-commerce start-ups in each country. 

They then scored each country on the quality of the start-up environment to give an overall ‘hosting.co.uk score’ out of 10, ranking all 30 accordingly.

The top 10 countries in Europe for an ecommerce start-up are: 1. United Kingdom, 2. France, 3. Spain, 4. Germany = Netherlands, 5. Ireland = Sweden= Lithuania = Italy, 6. Switzerland.

Taking the top spot was the United Kingdom (UK) with a score of eight. The predicted GDP growth for 2021 is 4.2% and although there is no specific Reduced Corporate Income Tax Rates for Small Businesses in the UK, the standard rate is reasonable at 19%. There are also a number of other government programmes to help start-ups, including ‘Start-Up Loan’ which includes free support when writing a business plan and up to 12 months of free mentoring. The UK’s infrastructure is well developed, and the importance of transport and energy is reflected in the country’s investment strategy, with future investment being geared towards these two sectors in projects like the HS2 and the Elizabeth Line in London. 

Some of the most prosperous ec-ommerce start-ups have also been launched in the UK, which is testament to the country’s receptiveness to up and coming platforms. In 2020, takeaway app Deliveroo thrived; the number of riders doubled from 25,000 to 50,000 and 20,000 new restaurants joined the platform. Meal kit retailer, Gousto, is another e-commerce start-up that thrived throughout last year, with its revenues for the first six months of 2020 surpassing the sales reported for the whole of 2019. Some other successful e-commerce start-ups from the UK include Depop, Cazoo, Gymshark and Elvie. 

Bottom of the overall ranking was Serbia. While some impressive tech start-ups have come out of Serbia, the country’s lower ranking was largely due to its less developed infrastructure, poor predicted GDP growth and business environment. 

CEO of hosting.co.uk, Frederick Schiwek, said: “E-commerce has thrived in the past year and it’s great to see some of the best platforms coming out of Europe. Silicon Valley used to be perceived as the centre of start-ups, but the past few years have shown how well equipped countries across the continent are to support these businesses – with the Coronavirus pandemic escalating this even further.” 

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