Entrepreneurship and business statistics

Promote entrepreneurship to exit the crisis, OECD says


06/06/2012 - Start-up rates in most countries are slowly bouncing back toward their pre-crisis levels, but not all countries have seen significant acceleration in new businesses, according to a new OECD report. Most  would-be entrepreneurs see far greater opportunities in the service sectors than in manufacturing. And women are far less likely than men to open their own businesses.

These are among the insights in the latest edition of Entrepreneurship at a Glance 2012, which gives an overview of entrepreneurship in OECD countries. Using indicators developed with the European Union’s statistical arm Eurostat, as well as those from national statistics offices, the report explains how access to finance, market conditions, regulatory frameworks and cultural perceptions can boost or harm entrepreneurial activity.

New data on enterprise creations and bankruptcies shows the major impact that the economic and financial crisis has had on entrepreneurial activity. Start-up rates fell precipitously from mid-2008 in all OECD countries where data are available. Momentum slowed again in early-2011 in most countries but  has since shown tentative signs of a pick-up.

France has shown the most spectacular increase in new businesses, due to introduction of a simplified start-up procedure (“regime de l’auto-entrepreneur”). Australia and the United Kingdom have reported robust growth in business creation in late-2011 and Norway has grown steadily, but the number of newly created enterprises remains below its pre-crisis level in most countries surveyed, according to the report.


Click here to access the underlying data in Excel

The number of bankruptcy procedures, which increased considerably across the OECD area over the 2008-09 period, hovered in 2011 above pre-crisis levels in most countries.

A special chapter of the report analysing women and entrepreneurship points out that men are more likely to work independently and run businesses with employees in every country studied. Typically, around two percent of employed women own a business and employ others. The corresponding percentage for men is more than the double in most countries, whatever the overall level of self-employment, according to the report.

“While women entrepreneurs tend to run smaller business activities, firms started by women do not seem to perform worse than those started by men in terms of survival and employment creation,” says Mariarosa Lunati, Head of the Entrepreneurship Indicators Programme at the OECD. “In  France, New Zealand and Poland, female-owned firms that survive their first three years are actually shown to create more jobs than male-owned firms.”

Further information on Entrepreneurship at a Glance is available here.

Accredited ournalists can obtain a copy of this publication via the Password-protected website or from the OECD's Media Relations 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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