Many countries face challenges tied to their unique situation. Although entrepreneurship is taking off quickly in Iran, for instance, entrepreneurs are limited by trade sanctions against the country because of its nuclear program.
"Sanctions are really limiting the entrepreneurs here," explained digital entrepreneur Mohsen Malayeri, co-founder of the Iran Entrepreneurship Association, which runs Global Entrepreneurship Week in Iran. He is also the co-founder and managing director of the Avatech accelerator at Tehran University. Avatech is working with 10 start-ups in its first group. "There's always a cap where they can't grow bigger because of the markets," he said.
And despite widespread interest in entrepreneurship in Latvia, an Eastern European country between Estonia and Lithuania, lack of seed funding has slowed the growth of technology start-ups, explained Marija Odineca, an entrepreneur and journalist at ArcticStartup, a technology blog. Much of the available funding in the country, which was under Soviet occupation for decades, comes through the government.
"No one wants to invest at the very early stage," she said.
Currently, funding for Latvian start-ups from nine active regional and local venture capital and private-equity funds adds up to 184.8 million euros, or $230 million, according to research by the Ministry of Economics of Latvia, Ministry of Finance of Latvia, Latvian Guarantee Agency & Deloitte. The first of these funds started up around 2007, said Krists Avots, head of operations at Garage48 foundation, an Estonia-based nonprofit that holds boot camps and hackathons for early-stage Web and mobile start-ups in Eastern Europe.
Read MoreArab Spring 2.0: The rise of women entrepreneurs
"The first-generation funds are now still in process of exiting," said Avots. "They didn't generate any returns they could be proud of. There's no hard evidence this is a good investment, which obviously still scares off the private investors."
Given limited funding, founders sometimes hunt outside of the country for capital, turning to sources in the U.S., the U.K., Scandinavia and Germany, said Avots.
"If you have a good idea and a good team, there are no big obstacles to raising funding in another EU country," he added.