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Entrepreneurship at a Glance 2017

In most OECD countries where data are available, numbers of new firm creations continue to recover, and in many countries are above pre-crisis highs, suggesting that any secular decline in enterprise creation rates may be abating.

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Improvements in bankruptcy trends reinforce the signals of an upturn in the entrepreneurial environment. At the end of 2016 the number of bankruptcies was back to, or below, pre-crisis levels, in most countries. And even in countries where bankruptcy levels remained higher than in 2007, in particular Iceland, Italy and Spain, early 2017 trends are beginning to point to improvements.

Services have been an important driver of firm creation

In all OECD countries enterprise creation rates in services outpaced those for industrial firms, contributing around two-thirds of all jobs created by new firms in 2014. But in most economies new industrial firms contributed less than 15% of jobs created. Moreover, between 2008 and 2014 employment in manufacturing decreased in all but two OECD countries: Luxembourg and Germany.

Employment rates have also recovered in many countries, and, in most, SMEs, young and old, have been the main drivers of growth. Within manufacturing, employment growth in large enterprises in the euro area, which were less affected by the crisis than SMEs, has continued to outperform that for SMEs. In the United States the opposite has been the case, with large service sector enterprises driving post-crisis employment growth.