Starting blocks in athletics

    KfW Research

    KfW Entrepreneurship Monitor

    The KfW Entrepreneurship Monitor 2024 will soon be published in English

    Edition 2023

    Entrepreneurial activity in Germany: between skills shortages and COVID blues

    Entrepreneurial activity in Germany dropped to 550,000 newly started businesses in 2022. Of these, 222,000 were full-time businesses (40%) and 328,000 part-time businesses. However, nearly one in five part-time start-ups intend to scale their business to a full-time activity. The persistently strong labour market development contributed significantly to driving the decline. Looking to the future, the shortage of skilled workers will remain a major challenge for entrepreneurial activity. The number of female entrepreneurs in particular has fallen, while the number of male entrepreneurs has hardly changed.

    Comments from KfW's Chief Economist

    Dr. Friederike Köhler-Geib

    “Faced with the challenges of skills shortages and COVID blues, start-up activity in Germany is on the decline. Labour market developments have traditionally had a strong influence on entrepreneurial activity here. That is because there is a strong focus in Germany on salaried employment. It seems the COVID blues made people more eager to try out new career options and, hence, to start a business. Whether this will continue remains to be seen. In any case, the focus on salaried employment begins early, for example in the occupational guidance given to students. We urgently need a rethink here, despite – or perhaps indeed because of – the shortage of skilled workers”.