Press Release from 2014-02-18 / Group

Number of entrepreneurs on the rise again in Germany

  • 93,000 more business start-ups in 2013
  • More entrepreneurs choosing self-employment on a part-time basis
  • Full-time start-up activity still remains low due to the positive situation on the job market

Following two consecutive slumps, start-up activity in Germany is back on the rise. 2013 saw some 868,000 people turn to self-employment, corresponding to around 12% or 93,000 business start-ups more than in 2012. This is the key result produced by the current KfW Start-up Monitor. This rise can be traced back to a considerable increase in the number of part-time entrepreneurs – 562,000 compared with 460,000 during the year before. In contrast, at 306,000, the number of full-time entrepreneurs remains virtually unchanged (2012: 315,000).

The wide disparity stems from the economic framework conditions in 2013. The pressure of having to go self-employed on a full-time basis remains low as expected, due to the continuously positive situation on the job market. In contrast, it is worth noting how positively part-time start-up activity is responding to the considerable rise in domestic demand – despite the generally subdued economic situation. "The market is there – and many people are evidently taking advantage of it to earn a little extra by becoming self-employed on a part-time basis," says Dr Jörg Zeuner, the KfW Group's Chief Economist. "This opportunity seems especially attractive to individuals who were previously unemployed, as they can be increasingly found among the part-time entrepreneurs." Part-time entrepreneurs are implementing explicit business ideas more often than was the case in the previous year, that means that were not driven into self-employment quite as much by a lack of alternative employment. Indeed, they have a household income comparable to those starting up business on a full-time basis. For these individuals, starting up a business part-time may well simply be an intermediate step on the road towards full-time self-employment.

"In 2014, the predicted economic revival and the positive situation on the job market, which are expected to continue, will presumably lead to a repeated rise in start-up activity. Again, this will very much be driven by part-time entrepreneurs," says Dr Zeuner, explaining what he expects of the ongoing year.


The development of start-up activity during 2013 is the initial result produced by the 2014 KfW Start-up Monitor. The KfW Group will present the complete collection of results in May 2014 as part of a press conference with Dr Jörg Zeuner, the KfW Group's Chief Economist. The final report will then be made available on the KfW Group’s website,

The KfW Group's representative annual population survey on start-up activity in Germany is based on a very extensive start-up concept. Business and freelance start-ups, full-time and part-time entrepreneurs, plus new foundations, corporate takeovers and active holdings are all recorded, providing a comprehensive picture of start-up activity. The KfW Start-up Monitor has been implemented since 2000. The 2013 survey took place from 24 July to 5 December.

You will find information on KfW's offers for start-ups on our homepage. Interested business start-ups also have the opportunity to get advice from KfW experts under the hotline 0800 539-90 01.


Portrait von Sonja Höpfner


Sonja Höpfner

Press Office KfW Capital