Entrepreneurs in Different Countries

Entrepreneurship is one subject, regrouping insights and many strands of wisdom under one big umbrella. However, the fate of entrepreneurs as well as their ventures are both very different across countries. I was recently reading about the story of Durov, the Russian founder of Facebook clone VKontakte. The article highlighted the parallels, but also made clear the differences between Durov and other well-known entrepreneurs, such as Mark Zuckerberg or Steve Jobs. While the latter are usually celebrated in their countries, told stories (or movies) about, and generally admired (while publicly discussing character details in the proper American style), the former are asked to leave their creations half-grown and apply for a different passport.

Other countries, such as France or Spain, are different again, characterized by a generalized silence, often replaced by pure ignorance about own entrepreneur role models. Despite startups being founded in these countries, few know the names of the founders for such companies as Vente Privée (Jacques-Antoine Granjon), Free (Xavier Niel), eDreams (Javier Pérez-Tenessa de Block), or JazzTel and Fon (Martín Varsavsky). Different contrasting models across the countries reflect the realities on the ground – maverick (and probably fleeting) entrepreneurs in Russia getting ousted by the government, whereas European Union decries the absence of ‘engouement’ for entrepreneurship on its own soil. While Richard Branson, Anita Roddick, Ray Kroc, Sam Walton, and others are celebrated, others fall into oblivion. Good luck to you, Durov…

For more information on French entrepreneurs in particular, check out this video:




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