Entrepreneurship at a Glance

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Entrepreneurship at a Glance presents an original collection of indicators for measuring the state of entrepreneurship along with explanations of the policy context and interpretation of the data.

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Entrepreneurship at a Glance 2012

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06 June 2012
9789264173101 (HTML) ;9789264173095(print)

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This second issue of Entrepreneurship at a Glance, a product of the OECD-Eurostat Entrepreneurship Indicators Programme, presents an original collection of indicators for measuring the state of entrepreneurship, along with explanations of the policy context and interpretation of the data. New to this issue are special chapters addressing measurement issues on women entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial finance, as well as selected indicators on women entrepreneurship.

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  • Preface

    Entrepreneurship at a Glance presents key indicators on entrepreneurship. Until recently, most entrepreneurship research relied on ad hoc data compilations developed to support specific projects and virtually no official statistics on the subject existed. The collection of harmonised indicators presented in this publication is the result of the OECD-Eurostat Entrepreneurship Indicators Programme (EIP). The programme, started in 2006, is the first attempt to compile and publish international data on entrepreneurship from official statistical sources. Indeed, to meet the challenge of providing new entrepreneurship indicators, while minimising costs for national statistical offices and burden on business, the programme focuses attention on exploiting existing data sources, e.g. statistical business registers, rather than developing new business surveys.

  • Reader's Guide

    This publication presents indicators of entrepreneurship collected by the OECD-Eurostat Entrepreneurship Indicators Programme (EIP). Started in 2006, the programme develops multiple measures of entrepreneurship and its determinants according to a simplified conceptual framework that distinguishes between the manifestation of entrepreneurship, the factors that influence it, and the impacts of entrepreneurship on the economy or society. A set of indicators of entrepreneurial performance is proposed for understanding and comparing the extent and type of entrepreneurship that take place in different countries. This approach reflects the idea that analysts should go beyond enterprise creation or any other single measure to study entrepreneurship as entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial forces can be found in many existing businesses. Understanding the dynamism these actors exert on the economy is as important as understanding the dynamics of start-ups.

  • Recent Trends in New Firm Creations and Bankruptcies

    Start-ups are an important source of job creation in OECD economies. Monitoring them provides an important, timely, indicator of entrepreneurialism in an economy, particularly when coupled with other information, for example, the state of the overall labour market or measures introduced by governments to stimulate self-employment. It is important to note, when interpreting the data, that push factors (i.e. high structural unemployment) and pull factors (e.g. increased opportunities) can both play a role in high start-up rates.

  • Measuring Women Entrepreneurship

    Women are one of the most relevant untapped resources for entrepreneurship. Very little is known about the economic relevance of women’s entrepreneurship, about the policy instruments that are effective in raising entrepreneurship rates among women, and about the economy-wide effects of higher participation of women in entrepreneurial activity. The policy rationale for the development of women’s entrepreneurship was traditionally focused on women’s equality and empowerment, and social inclusion (Lotti, 2006). Only in the more recent years, it has become clear that women entrepreneurs create new jobs for themselves and others and [...] can provide society with different perspectives and approaches to management, organisation and business issues (OECD, 2004).

  • Measuring Entrepreneurial Finance: A European Survey of SMEs

    Empirical studies conducted mainly at the country level support the relevance of access to finance as a determinant of entrepreneurship (Kerr and Nanda, 2009). There have been, however, limited efforts at producing sound internationally comparable data on the financing of new and small enterprises. This chapter addresses some of the challenges inherent to collecting statistics on entrepreneurial finance; it focuses, in particular, on data on the demand for finance by young and small enterprises and on the conditions they face in accessing finance. It thus complements the work of Financing SMEs and Entrepreneurs: An OECD Scoreboard (OECD, 2012), which presents national data mainly on the supply side of finance sourced from Central Banks or from surveys of finance suppliers. The Scoreboard also includes demand-side data collected by surveys undertaken by both private and pubic institutions. However, the Scoreboard recognises that improvements are required as concerns demand-side data and encourages international, regional and national authorities as well as business associations to work together to harmonise quantitative demand-side surveys in terms of survey population, questions asked and timeframes.

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  • Expand / Collapse Hide / Show all Abstracts Structural Indicators on the Enterprise Population

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    • Enterprises by size class

      The distribution of the business population by size provides basic information on the structure of the business sector. It is related to the distribution of businesses by activity sector and age and to the size of the internal market. It is of particular use, together with other business statistics by size class, to policy makers wishing to focus on the role in the economy of enterprises of different sizes.

    • Employment by enterprise size class

      The breakdown of employment by size class describes how total employment is distributed among enterprises of different sizes. It provides important information on the ability of firms of various sizes to foster employment.

    • Value added by enterprise size class

      Value added by enterprise size class describes the contribution of enterprises of different sizes to total value added of the business sector. This indicator contributes to improve understanding of the relative importance of different size classes in generating value added in a country’s economy.

    • Exports by enterprise size class

      Exports by enterprise size class describe the contribution of enterprises of different sizes to total exports. This indicator provides information on the importance of small and larger firms in shaping a country’s position in the global economy.

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  • Expand / Collapse Hide / Show all Abstracts Enterprise Birth, Death and Survival

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    • Birth rate of employer enterprises

      The birth of new enterprises is a key indicator of business dynamism. It reflects an important dimension of entrepreneurship in a country, namely the capacity to start up entirely new businesses.

    • Death rate of employer enterprises

      The death of enterprises is an integral part of the phenomenon of entrepreneurship. Knowing the percentage of firms that die in a given year and comparing it over time and across countries is of high interest to policy makers to understand, for example, the impact of structural and cyclical effects on the disappearance of enterprises.

    • Churn rate of employer enterprises

      The churn rate, i.e. the sum of births and deaths of enterprises, indicates how frequently new firms are created and how often existing enterprises close down. In fact, the number of births and deaths of enterprises accounts for a sizeable proportion of the total number of firms in most economies. The indicator reflects a country’s degree of creative destruction, and it is of high interest for analysing, for example, the contribution of firm churning to aggregate productivity growth.

    • Survival rate of employer enterprises

      Observing the post-entry performance of firms is as important as analysing their birth rate. The survival rate of enterprises provides information on the share of enterprises surviving one or more years after birth, and allows to investigate questions such as how long do start-ups survive after creation and the differences in survival rates of enterprises across countries and industries.

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  • Expand / Collapse Hide / Show all Abstracts Enterprise Growth

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    • High-growth enterprise rate

      High-growth enterprises are firms that by their extraordinary growth make the largest contribution to net job creation, despite typically representing a small proportion of the business population. With their presence in the economy considered promising for the creation of more jobs and innovation, interest in high-growth firms is high among policy makers.

    • Gazelle rate

      Gazelles represent the young enterprises among the -population of high-growth enterprises. Their role in job creation is of particular interest to policy makers.

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  • Expand / Collapse Hide / Show all Abstracts Women Entrepreneurship

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    • Employers and own-account workers by gender

      The relatively low rates of entrepreneurial activity among women represent a key concern for policy, since they signal a clear under-utilisation of entrepreneurial human capital. It is informative for policy makers to have distinct information on women and men employers (self-employed who employ others) and women and men own-account workers (self-employed working on their own). The first category is more likely to represent entrepreneurs.

    • Share, size and industry of women-owned enterprises

      Statistics on the share, size and industry distribution of women and men-owned enterprises provide key information on gender differences in entrepreneurship. They enable comparisons of the economic importance of women-owned enterprises across countries and over time. Moreover, they show how women entrepreneurs tend to own relatively smaller enterprises and select different industries with respect to men. The statistics have been primarily obtained by linking business registers to population registers or other administrative data. They are limited to sole-proprietor enterprises given the complexity of classifying enterprises with more than one owner along gender lines.

    • Employment in women-owned enterprises

      The contribution of women-owned enterprises to employment creation is still poorly documented. Comparable data on employment in women and men-owned enterprises provide indications about the relative contribution of enterprises held by women to job creation. The breakdown by size classes compares the capacities of differently sized women-owned enterprises to generate employment.

    • Birth and death rates of women-owned enterprises

      The birth rate of women-owned enterprises provides essential information about the dynamism of women’s entrepreneurship. Statistics on births and deaths, together with information on related employment generation and destruction, can tell whether the economic weight of women entrepreneurs is converging to the one of men. They can also inform about the effects of economic downturns on the dynamics of women and men entrepreneurship.

    • Survival and employment growth of women-owned enterprises

      Policy makers can monitor the relative performance of women-owned enterprises by looking at their rate of survival and at their capacity to generate jobs during the first years of activity. Gender-disaggregated indicators on survival and employment growth allow to investigate questions such as the resilience and the growth performance of women-owned enterprises.

    • Women on company boards

      The low presence of women on company boards is often cited as a signal of the obstacles women face in climbing the corporate ladder. Several countries are considering the introduction of quotas, to enforce a minimum level of representation of women on corporate boards.

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  • Expand / Collapse Hide / Show all Abstracts Determinants of Entrepreneurship: Selected Indicators

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    • Regulatory framework: Starting a business

      A combination of opportunity, capabilities and resources does not necessarily lead to entrepreneurship if opportunity costs (e.g. forgone salary and loss of health insurance) and start-up costs outweigh the potential benefits. The regulatory framework is a critical factor affecting countries’ entrepreneurial performance. While the regulatory framework, as broadly defined by the EIP, encompasses taxes, regulations and other public rules and institutions affecting entrepreneurship, this section focuses on measures of burden on the creation of new enterprises.

    • Access to finance: Success rate in obtaining finance

      The ease to financial access is an important factor for starting and growing a business. Financing needs however vary between enterprises with different growth characteristics. The development of information about the sources most used by different types of enterprises and the responses they obtain to their requests of finance contributes to improve policy makers understanding of entrepreneurial finance and the difficulties faced by firms aiming at growing their business.

    • Culture: Entrepreneurial perceptions and attitudes

      The entrepreneurial culture in a country affects the attitude that individuals have towards entrepreneurship, the likelihood of choosing entrepreneurship as a career, the ambitions to success and start again after a failure, or the support provided to family and relatives planning to set up a business. All these aspects play a role, although there is scarce empirical evidence on their relative importance and differences across countries. This section provides examples of indicators that have been developed to measure certain aspects of the entrepreneurial culture related to the image of entrepreneurs and to individuals’ perceptions of their own ability as would-be entrepreneurs.

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  • List of Indicators of Entrepreneurial Determinants

    This Annex presents a comprehensive list of indicators of entrepreneurial determinants. The list is drawn from the report Quality Assessment of Entrepreneurship Indicators (Version 6), prepared by FORA (Denmark). Indicators are classified into the six categories of determinants set by the EIP: 1. Regulatory Framework; 2. Market Conditions; 3. Access to Finance; 4; Creation and Diffusion of Knowledge; 5. Entrepreneurial Capabilities; 6. Entrepreneurial Culture. For each indicator, a short description and the source of data are provided.

  • Eurostat's 2010 Survey Questionnaire on Access to Finance

    Purpose of this survey: Access to finance is crucial to business success and an important factor for economic growth in Europe following the economic crisis in 2007. The purpose of this survey is to examine where there may be constraints on the availability of finance, and how those may be changing; the need for finance (loans, equity and other) in the future, for example to promote growth, and the sources from which businesses would wish to obtain this finance.

  • Grossing up Techniques

    Question by question, the number of responses in the cell is multiplied by the ratio of the number of respondents eligible to the question compared with the number of respondents to the question.

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