The Best European Nations for Digital Entrepreneurship

If you\’re a digital entrepreneur considering relocating to Europe, whether to launch a start-up or live the life of a digital nomad, 2023 is the perfect time to make the leap. There are now more European nations than ever before offering the prime conditions in which to launch your tech or digital venture, while plenty of capital cities are enticing those with entrepreneurial mindsets via digital nomad visas and extensive remote career development opportunities.

From a higher quality of life to the potential for strong economic growth, the continent has plenty to offer digital entrepreneurs, from those just starting out to experienced business owners. Here are three European nations that would be ideal for launching a new venture.

The Baltic States: A Haven for Digital Nomads

A decade ago, the Baltics would hardly have made a dent in the global start-up ecosystem. Fast forward to 2023, however, and Estonia, Lithuania, and Latvia are now enticing entrepreneurs across the globe to base their lives and their businesses on their shores. According to Dealroom, the three countries have already funded 12 start-up unicorns and are home to over 8165000 start-ups and scale-ups.

Estonia was the first country to open opportunities for international entrepreneurs with its comprehensive digital nomad visa scheme. With homegrown companies like Bolt and Wise leading the way, start-ups are enjoying an energetic ecosystem that strikes a balance with its potential for networking and opportunities.

Lithuania is currently breaking out as a hub for deep tech innovation. Several start-ups in this sector are choosing to make Vilnius their home, especially since it provides favourable tax and legal regimes and a wealth of tech breakthroughs (particularly in the realm of Life Sciences).

More recently, Latvia is a Baltic country that\’s been increasing in popularity with entrepreneurs and venture capitalists alike. The country is particularly attractive to iGaming businesses seeking a global reach, with brands like Bovada even contributing to the forthcoming casino boom in Japan with its gaming platform. A comprehensive start-up program has been launched here too, which, paired with innovation vouchers and a startup-friendly regulatory system makes it an appealing place for international investors looking to launch digital ventures.

France: Supporting Innovation

The second biggest country in Europe is surprisingly exceptionally start-up friendly. Over the past decade, the country has made significant efforts to support and foster innovation in the digital sector. Government innovations like the French Tech Visa and the Jeune Entreprise Innovante are particularly favourable among young entrepreneurs, while the French Tech Initiative offers financial incentives, administration support and mentorship to start-up founders.

With its capital city Paris being home to the business incubator Station F (one of the world\’s largest start-up campuses), France is able to bring together start-ups, investors and other major players in the ecosystem to facilitate collaboration and business success. Furthermore, cities like Lyon, Marseille, and Toulouse have also begun to set up new tech hubs to support entrepreneurs.

The United Kingdom: The Third Largest Tech Hub in the World

While the full ramifications of Britain\’s exit from the European Union in 2020 are yet to be experienced, the country remains a leading player in the start-up scene. The UK has launched more high-growth companies than any other, with 144 unicorns, 237 future corns and over 85,000 start-ups/scale-ups to date. The country continues to attract significant investment, and its low set-up costs (the lowest in Europe) and 19% business tax make it an attractive environment in which to launch the tech and digital businesses of the future.

There\’s no doubt that London is the most appealing for digital entrepreneurs of all the cities in the UK. As the dominant British hub for start-up innovation, it offers a thriving ecosystem with a vast talent pool, access to funding and a top-notch infrastructure. While any entrepreneur can find their niche in this city, London is particularly adept at supporting and expanding new ventures in the fintech, advanced tech (Artificial Intelligence, Virtual Reality, Cybersecurity) and eCommerce sectors.

However, if you were to look elsewhere in Great Britain, you\’d find considerable support for start-ups and scale-ups across the country. Manchester has a rich industrial heritage, but in recent years it\’s emerged as a prominent city for the digital and creative industries. With a growing number of tech start-ups based there and access to talented graduates from its prestigious universities, Manchester offers an ideal base for start-ups in areas like digital media and software development.

Heading further north into Edinburgh will place you in a burgeoning hub of business development. According to 2022 research by Management Today, Scotland\’s capital city is the best UK city for business development outside London. Edinburgh features a strong economy with a vibrant business ecosystem, and while it\’s not quite at the level of London or Manchester when it comes to tech innovation, it\’s nevertheless making significant headway in the digital sectors.


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