Business start-up rates remain sluggish, new OECD data shows


11/07/2013 - Business start-up rates remain below pre-crisis levels – particularly in the Euro area – indicating that entrepreneurs may continue to be suffering from restrictive lending conditions, according to new OECD data released in the latest issue of Entrepreneurship at a Glance.


Australia and the United Kingdom are showing tentative signs of a pick-up in start-ups but this is driven by an increase in sole-proprietor self-employed businesses, which may reflect readjustment strategies to unemployment.


The data show start-up rates are particularly low in Spain while in France they have been boosted by the introduction of measures to ease bureaucracy and improve tax incentives for the self-employed.


The number of business closures has not fallen back significantly following rapid rises in the wake of the crisis, says the report. Relatively high rates of bankruptcies in Australia and the United Kingdom are consistent with a generally brisker churn rate of business creation and exit.


Set against this backdrop however attitudes to business failures have become more positive, with the crisis serving to raise awareness of the important role played by entrepreneurs in the recovery, removing much of the stigma previously associated with failure. Increasingly, the public recognises the importance of giving entrepreneurs a ‘second chance’, the report adds.


The data also shows:


  • Young people are more optimistic about the possibility of setting up a business in the near future, even though the actual rate of entrepreneurship among under 25-year-olds is generally low – around 4.0% in OECD countries
  • Self –employed women earn 35% less than men on average, compared with a wage gap of 15% among employees.


The countries covered in Entrepreneurship at a Glance include Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Romania, the Russian Federation, the Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States.


Further information about Entrepreneurship at a Glance is available here


Accredited journalists can obtain a copy of this publication via the Password-protected website or from the OECD's Media Division (, tel. + 33 1 45 24 97 00).

For further information, journalists are invited to contact Mariarosa Lunati (tel. + 33 1 45 24 80 19) in the OECD's Statistics Directorate or the OECD Media Division (tel. +33 1 45 24 97 00).


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