BUSINESS
05/26/2011 03:58 pm ET Updated Jul 25, 2011

U.S. Culture Slightly Less Entrepreneurial Than Indonesia: Survey

Americans have long been comforted by the belief that they live in the world's most entrepreneur-friendly country. But among the 24 countries surveyed for a newly-released BBC World Service Poll, that honor goes to Indonesia.

According to the survey, Indonesian culture ranked as having the most friendly to entrepreneurs. The United States is a close second, with Canada, India and Australia rounding out the top five.

Russia, Italy, Turkey, Egypt and Colombia sit at the bottom of the list.

The BBC Poll asked a series of questions to 24,000 people with the intent of measuring cultural support for innovation and entrepreneurship, including how they felt their home countries valued starting businesses and whether or not the respondents themselves had ideas on which to base their own business.

Respondents from the Americas, Africa and Asia generally said that innovation and creativity were highly valued in their countries. European responses, however, varied more widely.

If respondents came from Western Europe, for example, they most likely agreed that innovation and creativity were valued qualities in their societies. Respondents who hailed from the Eastern or Periphery Europe, where unemployment is much higher, were more likely to express their belief that their national cultures looked negatively upon such qualities, on the other hand.

Overall, those surveyed felt their own entrepreneurial efforts weren't backed by their home country. A majority of the population in every surveyed country stated that they either agreed or strongly agreed with the statement, "In this country, it is hard for people like me to start their own business."

At the same time, though, only 51 percent of Americans have had an idea of their own for starting a business, according to the data, putting the U.S. behind countries like Canada (53 percent), Mexico (58 percent), China (67 percent) and Nigeria (79 percent).

Americans responded more positively (54 percent), however, when asked whether they had an idea for improving their community.