In a list of 18 industrialized countries Germany comes just in 17th position with regard to the number of business founders in proportion to the overall population. Only 1.4 % of people aged between 18 and 64 are currently setting up a new business in Germany. Another 2.4 % set up their own business in the past three and a half years. The least active in this respect are people in Belgium and those most active people in the USA. This is the finding of a joint study by the IAB institute and the Leipniz University in Hannover.
The findings of the above study are based on data from the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM). The number of people interviewed in Germany in the course of the study amounted to about 4700. In total almost 127,000 people were interviewed in 43 countries in the year 2008.
According to the authors of the study, people in Germany are rather risk averse as compared to other countries. Many people shy away from setting up their own business, because they believe not to have the necessary capabilities.
The culture of being self-employed was rather underdeveloped in Germany, according to the authors of the study. This was also a consequence of the fact that topics such as setting up a business or entrepreneurship were not duly dealt with at German schools. Just 12% of respondents touched these issues at school.
On the other hand, however, Germany does quite well regard to general conditions necessary for successful entrepreneurship. Thus, infrastructure and protection of intellectual property are among the advantages which Germany has to over to business founders.
Both the study itself and the “Global Entrepreneurship Monitor” are available for free-of-charge download.