Entrepreneurship at a Glance

2226-6941 (online)
2226-6933 (print)
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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 2013

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11 July 2013

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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 key facts and explanations of the policy context. This third issue features a special chapter on the profile of the entrepreneur, as well as longer time series and breakdowns by sector for the main indicators.

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  • Foreword

    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 government 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 sources of data instead of developing new business surveys. Statistical business registers form the basis for the compilation of the key EIP indicators, such as enterprise birth and death rates.

  • Executive summary

    The global financial and economic crisis has increased attention on entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurship and entrepreneurs have long been recognised as important sources of innovation, and thereby also of growth and employment. The recent crisis, characterised by tighter credit restrictions, has arguably hampered new start-ups and impeded growth in existing start-ups as well as their ability to survive in tough market conditions. The significant rise in business closures, especially of micro and small enterprises, in recent years, bears stark witness to these difficult conditions and highlights the need for statistics on entrepreneurship that can support policy makers. Entrepreneurship at a Glance contains a wide range of internationally comparable measures of entrepreneurship designed to meet this need.

  • 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 and society. A set of indicators of entrepreneurial performance is proposed for understanding and comparing the amount and type of entrepreneurship which take place in different countries. This approach reflects the idea that analysts should not focus only on enterprise creation or any other single measure to study entrepreneurship: entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial forces can be found in many existing businesses and understanding the dynamism these actors exert on the economy is as important as understanding the dynamics of start-ups.

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  • Expand / Collapse Hide / Show all Abstracts Recent developments in entrepreneurship

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    • New enterprise creations

      Diverging patterns of business start-up rates have emerged across OECD economies five years after the onset of the financial crisis.

    • Bankruptcies

      Data on bankruptcies are less comparable across countries and more affected by national legislation.

    • Self-employment rates

      Since the start of the economic crisis, the number of self-employed followed very different trends across OECD countries. Considering the level in 2007 as benchmark, the number of self-employed increased in Canada, France, Germany and the United Kingdom, while it decreased in Korea, Italy, Spain and the United States.

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  • Expand / Collapse Hide / Show all Abstracts Structural indicators on enterprise population

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    • Enterprises by size class

      In all countries most business are micro-enterprises, i.e. firms with less than ten persons employed; between 70% and 95% of all firms are micro-enterprises.

    • Employment by size class

      There are significant variations across countries in the distribution of employment among enterprises of different sizes: in Greece, Italy, Mexico, Portugal and Spain more than 40% of employment is in enterprises with less than ten persons, while in Germany, New Zealand, Switzerland and the United Kingdom the share is less than 20%.

    • Value added by size class

      In most countries, enterprises with more than 250 persons employed account for a considerable part of the value added of the business sector – 40% on average – despite less than 2% of businesses.

    • Productivity by enterprise size class

      Enterprise size matters for productivity. In most countries there is evidence of increasing returns to scale. Larger firms are on average more productive than smaller ones and this generally holds for all industries.

    • Exports by enterprise size class

      In the majority of countries, more than 50% of total exports are accounted for by enterprises with 250 employees or more. The share of exports provided by the smallest firms (micro enterprises) varies from 3% (in Norway) to 17% (in Denmark).

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  • Expand / Collapse Hide / Show all Abstracts Enterprise birth, death and survival

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    • Birth rate of employer enterprises

      Birth rates of employer enterprises (i.e. firms with at least one employee) are higher in the services sector than in manufacturing. Newly created firms typically employ one to four employees, while few start with more than ten employees.

    • Death rate of employer enterprises

      In all countries, the death rates of employer enterprises in the services sector are consistently higher than the corresponding rates in the manufacturing sector.

    • Churn rate of employer enterprises

      Churn rates of employer enterprises are higher in the services sector than in manufacturing, reflecting more significant business dynamics in services.

    • Survival rate of employer enterprises

      The survival rates of employer enterprises in the manufacturing sector are typically higher than in the services sector and the difference typically persists in every year after birth; Canada and the Slovak Republic are exceptions, with almost identical survival rates in the two sectors.

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  • Expand / Collapse Hide / Show all Abstracts Enterprise growth and employment creation

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    • Employment creation and destruction by employer enterprise births and deaths

      There are important differences across countries in the extent to which the birth and death of employer enterprises affect the creation and destruction of jobs in the economy. In all countries however, the level of employment churning is quite stable over the years covered, and consistently higher in services than in the manufacturing sector; only in the Slovak Republic are significant variations of the level of employment churning observed. As expected, employment creation was generally lower in 2009 and 2010 compared to 2006.

    • Employment creation and destruction in surviving enterprises

      Young enterprises account from 5 to 10% of total employment. Their contribution to employment decreased from 2008 to 2010.

    • High-growth enterprises rate

      High-growth enterprises represent on average a small share of the total enterprise population. Typically, when measured on the basis of employment growth, the share ranges between 2% and 4% for most countries. Measures based on turnover are generally twice as high, with the rate of high growth manufacturing enterprises in Korea reaching 15%. For both measures, the shares of high-growth enterprises were lower compared to 2006 in almost all countries.

    • Gazelles rate

      In a majority of countries, less than 1% of firms with ten or more employees are gazelles when the growth measure is based on employment. The share is slightly higher for gazelles as measured by turnover growth.

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  • Expand / Collapse Hide / Show all Abstracts The profile of the entrepreneur

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    • Gender differences in self-employment rates

      Three times as many men as women are self-employed with employees. Recent data indicate a small closing of this gap, despite the general decline in the population of self-employed with employees since the beginning of the crisis.

    • Self-employment among the youth and seniors

      People under the age of 25 have relatively low self-employment rates: 4% on average in the OECD area and never above 11%.

    • Self-employment rates of migrants

      In OECD countries, around 13% of foreign-born workers are self-employed. Migrants represent around 12% of the self-employed not working in agriculture, a percentage that changed little between 2005 and 2010. There are however very large differences across countries. While in several OECD countries, including Finland, Germany, Sweden and the United States, the rates of self-employment are similar for natives and migrants, in other countries such as the Czech Republic and Poland, the self-employment rates of immigrants are much higher than those of natives.

    • Earnings from self-employment

      Earnings from self-employment are more unequally distributed than earnings from salaried employment. High-earners in self-employment (those at the 8th decile of the earnings distribution) earn 13 times the income of low-earners (those at the 2nd decile of the distribution).

    • Preferences and feasibility of self-employment

      Very different attitudes towards self-employment can be observed across countries and across time, with a marked decrease in preferences for self-employment over the last three years.

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  • Expand / Collapse Hide / Show all Abstracts Determinants of entrepreneurship: selected indicators

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    • Culture: The role of entrepreneurship education

      There are significant cross-country differences in people’s perceptions of the role that school education has in helping them to develop a sense of initiative and an entrepreneurial spirit. In Brazil, Norway and Portugal more than 75% of adults acknowledge the role played by school education, while in Japan this share is less than 20%.

    • Culture: Attitude toward failure

      Among people who do not regard entrepreneurship as a feasible career option in the immediate future, the fear of failure is not the major discouraging factor. Only 5% on average cite the risk of failure and its legal and social consequences, with percentages slightly above 10% in India and the Slovak Republic and as little as 1% in Japan, where entrepreneurship rates are traditionally low.

    • Access to finance: Venture capital

      In the majority of countries for which data are available, venture capital investments represent a very small percentage of GDP, e.g. often less than 0.03%. Exceptions are Israel and the United States, where the venture capital industry is more mature and represents 0.5% and 0.2% of GDP respectively.

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  • Sources of data on timely indicators of entrepreneurship

    This Annex presents the sources and definitions used to develop the OECD Timely Indicators of Entrepreneurship; two separate tables refer to enterprise creations and bankruptcies respectively.

  • List of indicators of entrepreneurial determinants

    This Annex presents a comprehensive list of indicators of entrepreneurial determinants. The list draws from past work conducted by FORA (Ministry of Economic and Business Affairs, Division for Research and Analysis, Denmark) for the annual report “Quality Assessment of Entrepreneurship Indicators, which was discontinued in 2012. Indicators are classified into the six categories of determinants set by the OECD-Eurostat Entrepreneurship Indicators Programme: 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.

  • International comparability of venture capital data

    Aggregate data on venture capital provide useful information on trends in the venture capital industry. These data are typically compiled by national or regional Private Equity and Venture Capital Associations, often with the support of commercial data providers. The quality and availability of aggregate data on venture capital have improved considerably in recent years; however, international comparisons remain complicated because of two main problems.

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