Entrepreneurship at a Glance

2226-6941 (online)
2226-6933 (print)
Next Edition: 28 Sep 2017
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Entrepreneurship at a Glance is an annual publication that 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 2014

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15 July 2014
9789264211964 (HTML) ; 9789264211957 (PDF) ;9789264211360(print)

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This fourth edition of Entrepreneurship at a Glance presents an original collection of indicators for measuring the state of entrepreneurship and its determinants, produced by the OECD-Eurostat Entrepreneurship Indicators Programme. The 2014 edition contains new indicators at the regional level, and a thematic chapter on innovation activities by firms of different size.

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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.

  • Executive summary

    Entrepreneurship and entrepreneurs are important sources of innovation, 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 in recent years, especially of micro and small enterprises, bears witness to these difficult conditions and highlights the need for robust and comparable statistics on entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurship at a Glance contains a wide range of internationally comparable measures of entrepreneurship designed to meet this need; in particular, some 20 indicators of entrepreneurial performance are presented for around 30 countries.

  • 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 six 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

      Self-employment levels across countries have exhibited varying and diverging trends in the wake of the crisis, reflecting, in part, differences in the impact of the crisis on employment, the regulatory environment and the mechanisms used to mitigate the effects of the crisis.

    • Venture capital

      Venture capital investments slowed sharply at the height of the financial crisis in Europe and the United States, reflecting in part the credit crunch and slowing markets.

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

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    • Enterprises by size

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

    • Employment by enterprise size

      There are significant variations across countries in the distribution of employment among enterprises of different sizes: in Portugal, Slovenia, Italy and Greece more than 45% of employment is in enterprises with less than ten persons, while in Russian Federation, United States and Switzerland the share is less than 20%.

    • Value added by enterprise size

      In most countries, enterprises with more than 250 persons employed account for a considerable part of the value added of the business sector – 34% on average – despite less than 1% of businesses.

    • Productivity by enterprise size

      Firm size matters for productivity. Larger firms are on average more productive than smaller ones, particularly in the manufacturing sector, partly reflecting gains from returns to scale, for instance through capital-intensive production. However, this is not universally true. In some countries, for example Switzerland, data indicates that medium-sized firms have higher productivity than larger firms, possibly reflecting specialisation in high-value products.

    • Exports by enterprise size

      In the majority of countries, more than 50% of total exports are accounted for by enterprises with 250 employees or more.

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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 construction and services sectors 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 construction and services sectors are consistently higher than the corresponding rates in the manufacturing sector.

    • Churn rate of employer enterprises

      Churn rates of employer enterprises are higher in services and in construction rather than in manufacturing, reflecting more significant business dynamics in these sectors.

    • Survival of employer enterprises

      Young enterprises represent a larger share of the total population of enterprises in the construction and services sectors than in the manufacturing sector, reflecting the higher birth and death rates of construction and service sector enterprises.

    • Regional business demography

      Within large economies, differences in the rates of births and deaths of enterprises can be as large as 10 percentage points, driven in large part by micro firms, although for France, Italy and Spain sizeable regional differences also exist in death rates.

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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 construction and services than in the manufacturing sector. As expected employment creation was generally lower in 2011 and 2010 compared to 2006.

    • Employment creation and destruction in surviving enterprises

      Young enterprises account from 5 to 12% of total employment. Their contribution to employment decreased from 2008 to 2011.

    • High-growth enterprises

      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 6% for most countries, and around 1% for the gazelles, the high-growth firms with less than five years.

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  • Expand / Collapse Hide / Show all Abstracts Innovation

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    • Innovation by enterprise size

      In all countries, higher shares of large firms are involved in some innovation activity than SMEs. In most countries significantly more large firms engage in product/process and marketing/organisational innovations than either product/process or marketing/organisational. This is also true for smaller firms but less so, reflecting in part the greater degree of vertical integration in large firms and their control of production networks often using smaller processing supplier firms.

    • Factors hampering innovation by enterprise size

      Among firms that innovate, the lack of own funds and the high perceived costs of innovating are the two factors most cited as hampering innovation across all countries. The risks associated with uncertain demand for new product and process innovations, the presence of established enterprises dominating the market and the lack of external finance are also seen as important obstacles.

    • Collaborating in innovation by enterprise size

      In most OECD countries, between 50% to 80% of large enterprises cooperate for product and/or process innovation with some partner(s). These percentages are twice as high as those of firms with less than 250 employees, for which shares of cooperating firms are between 20% and 40%. Mexico is the only exception, with a percentage of SMEs indicating some type of cooperation for innovation (29.2%) slightly higher than Mexican large firms (25%).

    • Public support for innovation by enterprise size

      Significant differences exist across countries in the percentage of R&D expenditures financed by government that goes to large enterprises. In the Slovak Republic, Estonia and Hungary for example more than 85% of -government funding for R&D goes to SMEs, while in Japan, Luxembourg, the United States and Sweden more than 80% goes to large firms.

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

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    • Regulatory framework: Starting a business

      Overall barriers to entrepreneurship have progressively reduced over the last ten years across OECD countries.

    • Culture: Reasons for starting a business

      Across countries, having a suitable business idea and securing the necessary finance are generally cited as the two most important considerations for starting-up, or taking over, a business. Having a role model is very important in Brazil, Italy, Korea, China and Portugal, while less than 50% of individuals consider it relevant in Nordic countries and in the Russian Federation. Job--dissatisfaction is an important element but typically the least significant consideration cited by respondents.

    • Access to finance: Equity capital

      In the majority of countries, venture capital represents a very small percentage of GDP, e.g. often less than 0.04%. Exceptions are Israel and the United States, where the venture capital industry is more mature and represented 0.3% and 0.2% of GDP respectively.

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  • Expand / Collapse Hide / Show all Abstracts Annexes

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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. The OECD Timely Indicators of Entrepreneurship database is available on http://dotstat.oecd.org/Index.aspx.

    • 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; international comparisons, however, remain complicated because of two main problems.

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