In this paper the relationship between a country's prevalence of new ventures and its rate of economic growth is investigated, while taking into account new ventures' export orientation. It is generally acknowledged that new venture creation as well as export activity may both be important strategies for achieving national economic growth. However, to our knowledge no attempt has been made to investigate empirically the role of export-driven new ventures in economic growth. We focus on the national level and use data for a sample of 34 countries over the period 2002-2008. Our results suggest that, on top of a positive relation between entrepreneurial activity in general and subsequent macroeconomic growth, there is an additional positive effect of export-oriented early-stage entrepreneurship in higher-income countries. However, there is no such additional effect in lower-income countries.