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KfW Start-up Monitor 2014

Press Release from 2014-05-20 / Group

Entrepreneurs in Germany notable for greater wealth of ideas

  • New business formations create more jobs
  • Number of part-time entrepreneurs rises substantially
  • Start-up finance is easier to obtain: just under EUR 10 billion used

Entrepreneurs in Germany are tackling more promising projects than they did a few years ago. In 2013, for the first time more than half of all entrepreneurs put into practice a specific business idea with their business project (2013: 53%, 2012: 47%, 2011: 35%). Moreover, in 2013 11% of entrepreneurs - almost three times as many as in 2009 - brought something new to supraregional markets. This means that start-ups are more resourceful than ever - this was a key finding of the KfW Start-up Monitor 2014, a representative annual population survey of start-up activity in Germany. "Germany's entrepreneurs are increasingly translating ideas into new offerings, they are looking for an opportunity for sustained success - that is really good news", said Dr Jörg Zeuner, Chief Economist of the KfW Group, at the presentation of the report in Frankfurt today. "Entrepreneurs - particularly those offering technological innovation - are an important driver of our economy's steady and necessary renewal".

The gross employment effect of start-up activity has risen over the past year - this, too, is a sign of increased sustainability. Start-ups created 419,000 full-time equivalent jobs (+9%) and recruited more employees. 27% of full-time start-ups began life with employees, compared to only one in five full-time start-ups in 2005.

The number of start-ups in the past year came to 868,000 (+12% against 2012). As we reported in February (see press release dated 18 February 2014; www.kfw.de/gruendungsmonitor2014), the increase was attributable solely to a substantial rise in part-time entrepreneurs (2013: 562,000; 2012: 460,000). "Rather than being driven by 'emergency start-ups', this increase in part-time start-ups is due to the fact that entrepreneurs see a market for their business idea", said Dr Zeuner. "Despite the generally moderate economy in 2013, it would seem that they took advantage of the significant pick-up in domestic demand".

Most entrepreneurs (2013: 83%) did not experience any financing difficulties during the implementation of their start-up project (37% because they had no funding requirement and 46% because they were able to source own or third-party finance without any problems). The financing employed by entrepreneurs came to just under EUR 10 billion in 2013 (2012: EUR 8.4 billion, 2011: EUR 7.7 billion). The percentage of third-party finance has risen from 31% in 2009 to 52%. "The number of entrepreneurs who invest more funds at the outset and therefore also require higher loans from their banks, for example, has increased. Of course, this makes it necessary to focus in particular on the financing conversation", said Dr Zeuner. "However, obtaining finance is not an impossible task. Banks certainly provide finance to convincing start-ups - particularly as the good promotional policies in place mean that they are relieved of part of what is without doubt a high risk".

Further key findings of the Start-up Monitor 2014:

  • Never before have there been so many women among the start-up entrepreneurs as there were in 2013; 43% of start-up projects were initiated by women. As many women as men started their own part-time business; one in every three full-time start-ups was launched by a woman.
  • Between 2011 and 2013 the German federal states' ranking by start-up ratio has altered quite considerably when compared to the period from 2008 to 2010, but Berlin remains in top place, followed now by Hamburg, Rhineland-Palatinate and Hesse. At the bottom of the ranking is Sachsen-Anhalt, which comes behind Thuringia and Saxony. The pattern of "city states - western German territorial states - eastern German territorial states" remains clearly visible in the ranking (see also the chart for download www.kfw.de/gruendungsmonitor2014).

Details on the study:

The KfW Start-up Monitor is a representative annual population survey of start-up activity in Germany. It is based on a very comprehensive start-up concept (full-time and part-time entrepreneurs, commercial and self-employed entrepreneurs, new business formations, company takeovers and participations in enterprises) and provides an all-encompassing account of start-up activity. The survey has been conducted since the year 2000. The 2013 survey period ran from 24 July to 5 December 2013.


The KfW Start-up Monitor 2014, a television interview with Dr Zeuner, the press release of 18 February 2014 "Number of entrepreneurs on the rise again in Germany", several charts for download and information on KfW's funding and advisory offerings can be found at www.kfw.de/gruendungsmonitor2014.



Sonja Höpfner


+49 69 74 31 43 06


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