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.

Also available in French
Entrepreneurship at a Glance 2016

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28 Sep 2016
9789264265639 (EPUB) ; 9789264257542 (PDF) ;9789264257535(print)

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This publication presents an original collection of indicators for measuring the state of entrepreneurship and its determinants, produced by the OECD-Eurostat Entrepreneurship Indicators Programme. The 2016 edition introduces data from a new online small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) survey prepared by Facebook in co-operation with the OECD and the World Bank. It also features a special chapter on SME productivity, and indicators to monitor gender gaps in entrepreneurship.

Also available in French
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  • Foreword

    The collection of entrepreneurship indicators presented in Entrepreneurship at a Glance is the result of the OECD-Eurostat Entrepreneurship Indicators Programme (EIP). The programme, started in 2006, was the first attempt to compile and publish international data on entrepreneurship from official government statistical sources. From the outset a key feature in the development of these indicators has been to minimise compilation costs for national statistical offices, which is why the programme focuses attention on exploiting existing sources of data.

  • Executive summary

    Although the post-crisis recovery in entrepreneurialism remains mixed across countries - with enterprise creation rates at half their pre-crisis levels in the case of Finland, around one-fifth to one-third lower in the United States, Germany, Spain, Belgium and Italy, and higher in the United Kingdom, France, Sweden and the Netherlands - the most recent data (end of 2015 and beginning of 2016) provide tentative signs of a turning point, with trends in enterprise creation rates pointing upwards in most economies.

  • 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 conceptual framework that distinguishes between the manifestation of entrepreneurship, the factors that influence it, and the impacts of entrepreneurship on the economy. A defining characteristic of the programme is that it does not provide a single composite measure of overall entrepreneurship within an economy. Rather, recognising its multi-faceted nature, the programme revolves around a suite of indicators of entrepreneurial performance that each provides insights into one or more of these facets. Perhaps most important is the recognition within the programme that entrepreneurship is not only about start-ups or the number of self-employed persons: 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 or the self-employed.

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

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    • New enterprise creations

      Trend start-ups remain below pre-crisis rates in most OECD economies, with rates in Belgium, Finland, Germany, Iceland, Italy and Spain between 20% and 50% lower, according to the most recent data. Only Canada, France, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and the United Kingdom had higher rates at the end of 2015 and beginning of 2016.

    • Enterprise exits

      Enterprise exits in most countries remained below pre-crisis levels in 2015, except, notably, in Finland and the Netherlands, where rates were significantly above pre-crisis levels with a strong upward trend.

    • Bankruptcies

      Bankruptcy rates in 2015 were significantly below pre-crisis levels in Canada, Brazil and South Africa and around 15% to 25% lower in Germany, Japan and the United States. By contrast, they were significantly higher in Austria, France, the Netherlands and Norway, and were over double their pre-crisis rates in Italy and nearly four times as high in Spain, although recent quarter on quarter trends point strongly downwards in both countries.

    • Self-employment

      Self-employment rates and the number of self-employed were significantly above pre-crisis values in 2015 in France (partly reflecting a change in legislation to simplify the creation of small businesses), the Netherlands and the United Kingdom, with recent trends also pointing strongly upwards. Self-employment rates and the number of self-employed were also significantly above pre-crisis values in Finland and the Czech Republic but recent trends are pointing downwards pointing downwards in these countries.

    • Outlook and prospects of job creation

      Across countries and over time, micro enterprises typically have a less positive evaluation of their current or future situation than do larger firms. Cultural as well as economic factors help to shape responses, with Japanese firms of all sizes scoring the lowest of all G7 countries in positive assessments and highest for negative assessments. Of note, given that the survey period began five months prior to the UK Referendum on European Union membership, is the significantly higher negative assessments of UK firms with 50 or more employees, than those made by smaller firms.

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  • Expand / Collapse Hide / Show all Abstracts Structure and performance of the enterprise population

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    • Enterprises by size

      In all countries, between 70% and 95% of all firms are micro-enterprises, i.e. enterprises with fewer than ten persons employed. Moreover, a very large share of micro-enterprises are non-employer enterprises, i.e. enterprises with no employees.

    • Employment by enterprise size

      In countries where employment in the business sector grew between 2008 and 2013, for instance in Germany and in Brazil, this was mainly due to the increase in the number of active enterprises.

    • Value added by enterprise size

      In most countries, large enterprises account for a considerable part of the value added of the business sector despite constituting less than 1% of businesses. However, the share of value added created by large enterprises varies significantly across countries, partly reflecting economic size, ranging from around 15% in Luxembourg to close to 60% in Mexico.

    • Turnover by enterprise size

      In OECD countries, SMEs account on average for 60% of total turnover. Enterprises in the size classes 10-19 and 20-49 persons employed account for the smallest share of turnover: 8% and 11%, respectively.

    • Compensation of employees by enterprise size

      In most countries, compensation of employees constitutes the largest part of value added, particularly in SMEs, which tend to be less capital-intensive than larger firms.

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  • Expand / Collapse Hide / Show all Abstracts Productivity by enterprise size

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    • Productivity gaps across enterprises

      Firm heterogeneity matters for productivity. To the extent that large firms can exploit increasing returns to scale, productivity typically increases with firm size. In the manufacturing sector, where production tends to be more capital-intensive, larger firms show almost consistently higher levels of productivity than smaller ones.

    • Productivity growth by enterprise size

      In many economies, post-crisis labour productivity growth in the manufacturing sector was broadly similar in SMEs and large enterprises. However, in Denmark, the Czech Republic, the Slovak Republic and Slovenia, large firms outperformed SMEs, while in Greece the opposite was true.

    • Business dynamics and productivity

      Labour productivity growth appears to be higher in countries with higher start-up rates and churn rates, pointing to a possible positive impact of business dynamism (i.e. the entry and exit of firms) on productivity growth.

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

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    • Birth rate of enterprises

      Start-ups with employees, i.e. the group of employer enterprises that are up to two years old, represent between 20% and 35% of all employing firms in the OECD area. In a majority of countries, this proportion decreased significantly between 2006 and 2013, and particularly so in the Czech Republic, Hungary, Italy, Luxembourg and Spain. The falling share of start-ups was mainly due to the decline in birth rates rather than to the decrease in survival rates of enterprises in their first two years of life.

    • Death rate of enterprises

      Levels of deaths and births are generally of a similar magnitude within countries. However, in many countries post-crisis trends in death rates have remained broadly stable, while birth rates have trended downwards.

    • Churn rate of enterprises

      The churn rates of employer enterprises range on average between 10% and 20% in industry and between 15% and 30% in services and construction. In 2013, only a few countries showed much lower (Belgium) or much higher (Hungary) churn rates.

    • Survival of enterprises

      In most countries, more than half of newly created enterprises fail within the first five years. Nevertheless, there are important differences across countries; for instance, the two-year survival rate of enterprises active in industry is 85% in Austria and only 50% in Hungary.

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

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    • Employment creation and destruction by enterprise births and deaths

      Rates of employment creation and destruction by births and deaths of employer enterprises vary widely across countries, though rarely exceeding 6% of total employment. In many countries, rates of employment creation and destruction are closely correlated.

    • Employment creation in start-ups

      The employment generated by start-ups, i.e. newly created enterprises and those aged one and two years, ranges from 4% to 15% of total employment in most countries. The contribution of start-ups to total employment decreased in 2013 compared to 2008 in many countries where data are available.

    • High-growth enterprises rate

      High-growth enterprises represent a small share of the total enterprise population, typically between 2% and 6% in most countries. While few in number, fast-growing firms generate employment for a considerable number of persons.

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  • Expand / Collapse Hide / Show all Abstracts SMEs and international trade

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    • Incidence of traders

      The share of enterprises participating in international trade varies significantly from country to country, ranging from 10% to 40% for exporters and from 10% to 70% for importers. Larger countries tend to have smaller shares, largely reflecting the size of their internal market.

    • Trade concentration

      The top 100 exporting companies account for a significant share of exports in all countries, ranging from about one-quarter in Italy to over 90% in Luxembourg.

    • Trade by enterprise size

      In all countries, micro and small firms, i.e. enterprises with less than 10 and between 10 and 50 employees respectively, are high in number and account for the majority of exporting enterprises, but are responsible for a limited share of total export value.

    • SMEs and market proximity

      Generally, compared to large firms, small firms are more likely to export to markets relatively close to their home country – evidence of the fixed costs related to breaking into new markets that tend to be relatively higher for smaller firms. On the other hand, barriers to importing appear less onerous than those for exporting.

    • Trade by enterprise ownership

      Foreign-owned firms account for a large share of overall exports and imports compared to domestically-owned firms. In Hungary and the Slovak Republic, for example, foreign-owned exporters account for more than 80% of the total value of exports and imports but constitute only around 20% of the trading firms.

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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

      In OECD economies, one in ten employed women is self-employed, almost half the rate of self-employed men (18%). During the past ten years, however, the gap between male and female self-employment rates has closed in almost every country, and particularly so in Iceland and Turkey.

    • Self-employment among the youth

      The gender difference in self-employment is generally visible across all age groups. In all observed OECD countries except Luxembourg, men have consistently higher self-employment rates than women for the age groups 15-24, 25-34, and 55+. For employed persons aged between 35 and 54, by contrast, the female self-employment rate exceeds the male self-employment rate in a number of countries. Though on average the self-employment rate is higher for men in this age group as well, the relative average gender difference between self-employment rates is the smallest of all age groups.

    • Earnings from self-employment

      In 2013, self-employed women earned between 13% and 60% less than men in the OECD area, with the smallest gap observed in Sweden and the largest gap observed in Poland.

    • Inventors by gender

      The share of female inventors among all inventors has increased steadily and significantly in the past few decades, but still remains a low 8% in the OECD area.

    • Perception of entrepreneurial risk

      Most countries in the OECD area exhibit a gender gap with regard to access to entrepreneurship finance to create and grow a start-up; on average, only 27% of women compared to 34% of men declare that they would have access to money to set up a business.

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  • Expand / Collapse Hide / Show all Abstracts Determinants of entrepreneurship: Venture capital

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    • Venture capital investments

      In 2015, venture capital investments in the United States amounted to USD 59.7 billion and accounted for 85% of total venture capital investments in the OECD. Venture capital investments in Europe amounted to USD 4.2 billion.

    • Venture capital investments by investee company

      Only a very small number of companies are backed by venture capital. Only in Belgium, Finland, Sweden and the United States do venture capital-backed companies represent over 1% of total enterprise births.

    • Venture capital investments by sector

      Significant regional differences exist in the types of firms attracting venture capital. In 2015, in the United States the computer and consumer electronics attracted 43.3% of the total, followed by life sciences (19%) and communications (16.5%). In Europe, life sciences was the sector with the highest venture capital investments (34% of the total), followed by computer and consumer electronics (20%) and communications (18.6%).

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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 database; three separate tables refer to enterprise creations, exits and bankruptcies respectively. The database is available on http://stats.oecd.org//Index.aspx?QueryId=72208.

    • List of indicators of entrepreneurial determinants

      This Annex presents a comprehensive list of indicators of entrepreneurial determinants. Indicators are classified into the six categories of determinants set by the conceptual framework of 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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