copy the linklink copied!20. Germany

This country profile presents current inclusive entrepreneurship policy issues and recent developments in Germany. It also benchmarks self-employment and entrepreneurship indicators for women, youth, seniors and immigrants against the European Union average.


copy the linklink copied!Key trends

The self-employed rate has declined over the past decade (from 10.5% in 2009 to 8.8% in 2018) and remains below the European Union (EU) average (13.5% in 2018). The proportion of self-employed people was one of the lowest among EU countries. The self-employment rate was particularly low among youth in 2018 (2.8%). However, self-employed youth were more likely to have employees than the EU average (25.5% vs. 15.9%). Moreover, early-stage youth entrepreneurs were more likely than the EU average for the period 2014-18 to expect to create at least 19 jobs over the next five years (13.4% vs. 11.1%). Women (8.4% vs. 5.5%) and senior (10.4% vs. 8.9%) entrepreneurs were also more likely to report an expectation to create this level of jobs.

copy the linklink copied!Hot issue

The Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy released a new entrepreneurship strategy in November 2018 called “Go!!! Business creation offensive: Good for you and good for Germany” (Go!!! Gründungs offensive, gut für Dich und gut für Deutschland). The new plan is built around ten key points, and many highlight objectives to make entrepreneurship more inclusive. This includes boosting self-employment among women, creating more tailored financial instruments for different types of entrepreneurs, strengthening entrepreneurship skills among immigrants and facilitating business transfers.

copy the linklink copied!Recent policy developments

Policy support for measures that use entrepreneurship as a mechanism for helping to integrate migrants into the labour market and society are ongoing. For example, the pilot project called “Start-up Your Future” (Gründerpatenschaften) was launched in 2017 in Berlin-Brandenburg with financial support from the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy. It is an entrepreneurship mentoring programme for migrant entrepreneurs, which also provides cultural training and support with business planning. The pilot will be evaluated in 2019 to assess potential for a national rollout.

This profile is based on a recent country assessment report, which can be found at:

copy the linklink copied!Key inclusive entrepreneurship data

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Figure 20.1. Entrepreneurship and self-employment data for Germany
Figure 20.1. Entrepreneurship and self-employment data for Germany

Notes: The self-employment rate is defined as the number of self-employed people (15-64 years old) divided by the number of people in employment. The TEA rate is the proportion of adults (18-64 years old) involved in setting up a business or managing a business that is less than 42 months old. Necessity entrepreneurship is defined as entrepreneurship activities that were launched because there were no other options in the labour market. Early-stage entrepreneurs are those who are in the process of setting up a business or managing a business that is less than 42 months old. The EU average in Panels D-F excludes Czech Republic and Malta for the period 2014-18 and Malta for the period 2009-13.

Sources: Panels A and B: Eurostat (2019), Labour Force Survey,; Panel C: Eurostat (2018), Self-employment, Labour Force Survey ad-hoc module,; Panels D-F: Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (2019), Special tabulations of the GEM survey 2014-18.


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