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Entrepreneurial spirit sinks to record low

The entrepreneurial spirit in the industrial nation of Germany seems to be in a bad way: According to an analysis by KfW Research, both the number of startups and the desire to be self-employed are declining.

05 Sep. 2019
Photo: KfW Research

The latter has even reached a record low: Just 25% of the working population still consider it desirable to be self-employed. In 2000, this figure stood at 45%. KfW cites the continuing upswing in the labor market, offering job seekers a wealth of well-paid opportunities, as the reason for this. The demographic development is another reason for this, since interest in setting up a business generally decreases with increasing age – and Germany is an aging society. However, the desire to be self-employed among young people, who usually dominate the startup scene, has grown stronger again over the past two years: In 2018, one in three under 30 would have decided, unconstrained by circumstances, to take their luck into their own hands.

Startup founders have much to gain – recognition, for instance. According to a representative survey conducted by German digital association Bitkom , the majority of Germans see company founders as role models for the younger generation. However, one in three respondents would still not advise young people to work in a startup or set one up.