The majority of Germans are fascinated by the idea of setting up their own businesses, but they shy away from taking action in this respect. This is the finding of a representative survey among more than thousand Germans conducted by the TNS Emnid polling firm.
78% of interviewees are intrigued by the thought of being self-employed. They think that the biggest advantage of entrepreneurship is the opportunity to put into practice one’s own ideas (95% think so), to work one one’s own (92%) and from home (73%). Nevertheless, many Germans do not dare taking the decisive steps for becoming self-employed. A large majority considers entrepreneurship to be too risky. As obstacles on the way to success they see financial insecurity (82%), social isolation (75%), costs and complexity (70%), lacking initial capital (58%) as well as business ideas which are not promising enough (55%).
Therefore 91% of respondents prefer being employed. Almost half of interviewees, however, could imagine being self-employed. 51% of these would like to start their business parallel to their current job, and in the case of the business developing successfully quit their job and fully concentrate on their own business.
Another finding is that men (60%) more often than women (37%) become self-employed. The survey also revealed that Germans from the west (51%) attach more importance to entrepreneurship than Germans from the east.
Those who ordered this study, i.e. Amway which is a direct marketing company, however, made somewhat different experiences: “Our consultants in direct marketing did not detect any differences neither with regard to east and west nor gender“, says Dimitri van den Oever, managing director with Amway Germany.
Unfortunately the study does not say anything about differences in the several economic sectors. Such an analysis, however, would be important in order to promote entrepreneurship in particular in fields in which Germany is competitive on an international scale.