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What are the risks of most concern to successful entrepreneurs in 2020?

Unemployment and underemployment are the top concerns for business leaders in 2020, according to a recent survey.

This article was translated from our Spanish edition using AI technologies. Errors may exist due to this process.
This story originally appeared on Foro Económico Mundial

By Charlotte Edmond, Senior Writer, Formative Content
  • Infectious disease risk has jumped 28 spots to reach the top 10 on the list, making critical infrastructure failure the primary concern.
  • Environmental concerns are also receiving greater prominence, rising significantly in the annual ranking of the "Interactive Map of Regional Risks for Doing Business".

In the uncertain world that has created COVID-19, unemployment and underemployment are at the forefront of CEOs' concern about doing business around the world. Concern about infectious diseases has also joined the list of things that keep them awake at night.

The World Economic Forum's "Interactive Map of Regional Risks for Doing Business", which surveyed more than 12,000 business leaders from 128 countries, found that unemployment is seen as the most pressing problem companies could face in 2020. It's about a perennial risk for companies, but in 2019 it had fallen to third place behind fiscal crises and cyber attacks.

Unemployment is the highest perceived risk to doing business in 2020.

Unemployment is the highest perceived risk for doing business in 2020 / Image: Regional Risks for Doing Business Interactive Map

Climate concerns

In the survey, which was conducted between January and July 2020, leaders were asked to select, from a list of 30, the five most worrying risks for doing business in their country in the next 10 years.

Most of the top risks identified were related to the economy, but risks related to climate change are rising on the board's agenda. Although no environmental risk is in the top 10 globally, the perceived risk of natural disasters has risen seven spots and extreme weather events have risen five spots. Biodiversity loss and ecosystem collapse has increased in eight places and lack of adaptation to climate change has increased in two places.

Nine of the top 10 risks as of 2019 are back in the top spots in 2020, with a critical infrastructure failure falling out of the rankings as infectious diseases gain prominence.

You can view the Interactive Map of Regional Risks for Doing Business here.

Time to restart

The research is part of the World Economic Forum's Global Risks Initiative , which analyzes critical global risks and communicates them to stakeholders and the general public.

The data is released ahead of the Work Restart Summit (October 20-23), which aims to shape inclusive, fair and sustainable economies, societies and workplaces.

The interactive map has been produced in collaboration with Marsh & McLennan Companies, Zurich Insurance Group and SK Group.