New data on enterprise creations and bankruptcies show the major impact that the economic and financial crisis has had on entrepreneurial activity. Start-up rates fell sharply from mid-2008 in all OECD countries where data are available. Momentum slowed again in early-2011 in most countries but has since shown tentative signs of a pick-up.
France has shown the most spectacular increase in new businesses, due to introduction of a simplified start-up procedure or the régime de l’auto-entrepreneur. Australia and the UK have reported robust growth in business creation in late-2011 and Norway has grown steadily, but the number of newly created enterprises remains below its pre-crisis level in most countries surveyed. The number of bankruptcy procedures, which increased considerably across the OECD area over the 2008–09 period, hovered above pre-crisis levels in most countries in 2011.
Men are more likely to run businesses with employees in every country studied. Typically, around 2% of employed women own a business and employ others. The corresponding percentage for men is more than double that in most countries.
©OECD Observer No 292, Q3 2012