KfW Entrepreneurship Monitor
KfW Start-up Monitor 2018
Start-up activity remains in a trough but growth, innovation and digitalisation are gaining importance
The labour market continues to exert a firm grip on start-up activity in Germany. Despite the cyclical upswing, the number of first-time founders dropped again in 2017. A mere 557,000 persons started a new business of their own – fewer than ever before. What is positive is the renewed improvement in structural quality. Two and a half times more opportunity entrepreneurs than necessity entrepreneurs started in 2017. The number of innovative, digital and high-growth business founders has also grown in both categories. This is a positive sign for the 2017 start-up cohort’s chances of success.
Analysis of start-up activity in Germany
The KfW Start-up Monitor is an annual representative population survey conducted by telephone to gather information on start-up activity in Germany. The survey has been carried out by a well-known market research institute on behalf of KfW since the year 2000. The KfW Start-up Monitor paints a comprehensive picture of entrepreneurship in Germany. In particular the large number of characteristics of the entrepreneurs, as well as their start-up projects, is a defining feature of this database. In addition, business start-up survival in the first three business years can also be determined.
The wealth of information of the KfW Start-up Monitor allows a detailed analysis of start-up activity. A number of those results are published in the annual report.
Brief description of the KfW Start-up Monitor:
- The annual cross section survey is conducted using computer-assisted telephone interviewing (CATI). Representativity is secured with regard to persons between 18 and 67 years of age resident in Germany with sufficient command of the German language. Since the year 2008, about 50,000 persons have been interviewed per survey wave. Since 2010, a dual frame approach has been employed to include both households with landlines and households with mobile phones.
- About 800 of the respondents in each survey wave entered into self-employment as a freelancer or started a commercial activity up to 12 months prior to the interview. Additionally, persons who have initiated their start-up project up to 36 months prior to the time of the interview are also recorded as new entrepreneurs. The recording of start-up activity is done regardless of whether the start-up project is still active at the time of the interview.
- New entrepreneurs are defined as persons entering into full-time as well as sideline self-employment. Persons starting a new business or participating in or taking over an existing venture are also included. It does not matter whether it is a commercial or freelance activity. Both forms of self-employment are included in the data.
- New entrepreneurs are asked about 50 questions, e. g. with regard to the form of the start-up project, employees, financing decisions and survival of the start-up. Personal characteristics such as age, gender, educational attainment, migration background and previous labor market status are collected for new entrepreneurs as well as for a comparison group of about 7,500 non-founders.
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