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 2017

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28 Sep 2017
9789264279940 (EPUB) ; 9789264279933 (PDF) ; 9789264283237 (HTML) ;9789264279926(print)

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The publication is produced by the OECD-Eurostat Entrepreneurship Indicators Programme based on official statistics. The 2017 edition features a new trends chapter, which also introduces recent developments related to the emergence of the "gig economy" and the use of digital tools by micro-enterprises.

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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

    In most OECD countries where data are available, numbers of new firm creations continue to recover, and in many countries are above pre-crisis highs, suggesting that any secular decline in enterprise creation rates may be abating.

  • 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 provide 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.

  • Recent developments in entrepreneurship

    The short-term indicators presented in this chapter provide timely information on business dynamics and self-employment. They offer an up-to-date snapshot of entrepreneurialism, and therefore growth and employment prospects, in the OECD area.

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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, the vast majority of enterprises (between 70% and 95%) are micro-businesses, i.e. enterprises with fewer than ten persons employed, and in most countries over half of all enterprises are non-employer enterprises, i.e. enterprises with no employees such as the self-employed who work on their own account and do not employ other persons.

    • Employment by enterprise size

      Although large enterprises represent only less than 1% of the total population of enterprises, they account for a significantly higher share of employment – between 47% of persons employed in the business sector in the United Kingdom and 12% in Greece. On average, across OECD countries large enterprises account for around 40% of total manufacturing employment while in services they account for around 25 %.

    • Value added by enterprise size

      In most countries, large enterprises employing more than 250 persons account for a considerable part of the value added of the business economy, despite constituting less than 1% of businesses. The share of value added created by large enterprises varies significantly across countries, reflecting economic size and the structure of the business population, ranging from 15% in Luxembourg, to 32% in Italy, and more than 60% in Mexico.

    • Turnover by enterprise size

      In OECD countries, SMEs account on average for 60% of total turnover, and around 80% in smaller economies such as the Luxembourg, Estonia and Latvia.

    • 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

      In the manufacturing sector, where production tends to be more capital-intensive and larger firms can exploit increasing returns to scale, large 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 SMEs in the manufacturing sector lagged large enterprises, exacerbating existing productivity gaps, especially in Belgium, the Czech Republic, Germany, Latvia and the Slovak Republic. In Lithuania, Poland and Turkey, SME productivity growth significantly outpaced that of large firms, however significant productivity gaps remain.

    • Productivity and wage gaps across firms

      Large manufacturing firms tend to pay higher wages than SMEs. In Germany for example large firms paid a wage premium of over 50% of medium-size firms and over double that of smaller and micro enterprises. Similarly, large differentials also occurred in Belgium, France and the Netherlands. However, wage differentials were significantly smaller in some other countries, such as in Finland and Slovenia.

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  • Expand / Collapse Hide / Show all Abstracts Business dynamics and job creation

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    • Birth of enterprises

      Although births of non-employer enterprises are typically higher than births of enterprises with employees, in most OECD economies they accounted for a lower share of overall jobs created in 2014.

    • Death of enterprises

      Death rates are typically higher for non-employer enterprises than for employer enterprises, reflecting the often precarious nature of the former. However, employer enterprise deaths contribute more to job losses than non-employer deaths in most countries.

    • Churn rate

      In 2014 the churn rate of employer enterprises was on average around 20% in the OECD area; only a few countries show a much lower (Belgium) or much higher (Hungary) churn rate.

    • Young enterprises

      Many newly-created enterprises fail within the first few years of life, although there are important differences across countries. The one-year survival rate of employer enterprises born in 2013 was above 90% in Sweden, the United States, Luxembourg, Lithuania and the United Kingdom, but between 60% and 70% in the Czech Republic and Poland, and below 55% in the Slovak Republic.

    • High-growth enterprises rate

      While few in numbers, fast-growing firms contribute disproportionally to employment generation. For example, in 2014 they accounted for around 20% of employment in all enterprises with 10 or more employees in Ireland, Israel or the United Kingdom.

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

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    • Trade concentration

      The share of enterprises participating in international trade varies significantly from country to country, ranging from 10% to 40% for exports and from 10% to 70% for imports. Small countries tend to have larger shares, reflecting the limited size of their internal market, although significant differences exist even among them.

    • Trade by enterprise size

      Although between 25 and 70% of exporting firms are micro enterprises, i.e. with less than 10 employees, they account for only 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. Barriers to SMEs 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 the Czech Republic, Hungary and the Slovak Republic, foreign-owned exporters provide more than 80% of the total value of exports and imports, but represent only around 20% of the trading firms; this pattern is even more pronounced in Italy, Portugal and Spain where less than 5% of foreign-owned firms account for disproportionately large shares of imports and exports.

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  • Expand / Collapse Hide / Show all Abstracts Female entrepreneurship

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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 (17%). 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, New Zealand and Turkey.

    • Earnings from self-employment

      In 2014, self-employed women earned 10% less than men in Luxembourg and Lithuania, but almost 60% less than men in Poland, the United States and Romania. Over the period 2007 to 2014 the gender gap in self-employed earnings decreased in most countries, except in Poland, Italy, Slovak Republic, Slovenia and Romania

    • Entrepreneurial attitude

      Empirical research generally shows a gender gap in the perception of barriers to business creation. However, women feel equally confident as men about their business and its future, including the prospects of job creation, once it is up and running.

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  • Expand / Collapse Hide / Show all Abstracts Venture capital

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    • Venture capital investments

      In 2016, venture capital investments in the United States amounted to USD 66.6 billion and accounted for 86% of total venture capital investments in the OECD. Venture capital investments in Europe amounted to USD 4.7 billion.

    • Venture capital investments by investee company

      Only a small number of companies are backed by venture capital, and typically represent tiny percentages of total enterprise births in a given year. In most OECD countries, venture capital-backed companies represented less than 1% of enterprise births in 2016.

    • Venture capital investments by sector

      In 2016, in the United States, the ICT sector received more than half of the total venture capital investments (53.6%), followed by life sciences (20.7%). In Europe, the ICT sector attracted significant venture capital investments (44% of the total), followed by life sciences (27%).

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  • Sources of data on timely indicators of entrepreneurship

    This Annex presents the sources used to develop the OECD Timely Indicators of Entrepreneurship database, which contains sub-annual data on enterprise creations and bankruptcies. 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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