By Daniel Hunter

As Global Entrepreneurship Week approaches next week, New Zealand, most commonly known for its scenery, sheep and Hobbits, has been confirmed as the easiest place to start a business according to a new report published by the World Bank and the International Finance Corporation.

The report, Doing Business 2013: Smarter Regulations for Small and Medium-Size Enterprises, shows that New Zealand has been quietly growing its reputation as a prime location for developing new entrepreneurial opportunities for a while now.

By offering the vital ingredients for a strong and healthy enterprise culture: the kiwi ‘can-do’ attitude, easy access to capital, a skilled workforce, and a fertile research base, has proven the perfect environment for businesses.

Add to the mix its supportive regulatory environment that promotes rather than stifles growth and it is no surprise that the latest report from the World Bank finds New Zealand ranks third in the world on the combined measure ‘ease of doing business’.

Good business regulations enable the private sector to thrive and businesses to expand their transactions network. The Doing Business 2013 report tracked changes in the regulatory environment for small and medium-sized companies in 185 countries.

It found that New Zealand ranks number one on ease of starting a business. Indeed, it only takes one day and one procedure to register a private company in New Zealand and costs less than 0.4% of income per capita. In comparison, in the UK it takes 13 days and involves 6 procedures costing 0.7% of income per capita.

New Zealand also ranks highest in terms of protecting its investors. Protecting investors really matters for companies. Without adequate regulations, equity markets fail to develop, and banks become the only source of the finance for companies that need to grow, innovate, diversify and compete. New Zealand leads the way in providing the strongest minority investor protections and has held this position for eight years in a row.

“the New Zealand government has worked hard over a number of years to improve the business regulatory environment and to cut red tape so that our businesses and entrepreneurs can flourish and grow and become successful international players," Sam Lewis, New Zealand Trade Commissioner to the UK and Ireland, said.

"The entrepreneurial spirit is inherent in New Zealand culture so when we get the regulation right it unlocks opportunities for key economic outcomes such as faster job growth and new business creation."

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