Data Show Number of New Businesses Rising in Many OECD Countries

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There’s good news for entrepreneurs in the developed and developing world. New data show that the number of businesses being created is rising in most of the 14-member countries of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

Also, the number of bankruptcies has declined to pre-financial crisis levels in most of the economies surveyed. In problem areas such as Iceland, Italy, and Spain where business failure levels are still above 2007, the latest 2017 quarterly data indicate improvement.

In its latest “Entrepreneurship at a Glance’’ report, nine of the 14 OECD countries that reported business activity up to the first quarter of this year showed business creations were rising. Those countries include Australia, Belgium, France, Hungary, Iceland, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and the United States.

Regarding just incorporated companies, business creations increased in 10 of the 12 countries where data are available:  Australia, Belgium, France, Italy, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

OECD data indicate that many new businesses fail within the first few years, although there are differences among countries. The one-year survival rate of companies begun in 2013 was above 90% in Sweden, the United States, Luxembourg, Lithuania and Great Britain; between 60% and 70% in the Czech Republic and Poland; but below 55% in the Slovak Republic.

In 2014 start-ups – businesses less than two years old – accounted for around 20% or more of firms in most countries and for more than 30% in Great Britain, Hungary, Brazil, Israel and Poland. Start-ups represented less than 10% of business employment in most OECD countries.

The report also includes findings from the “Future of Business Survey,’’ a joint OECD-World Bank-Facebook initiative. This data  shows that businesses trading internationally are more confident in the present and future outlook of their businesses, and are more likely to have positive prospects of job creation.

Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, founded in 1960, is comprised of 35 nations from the developed and developing world to help governments foster prosperity and fight poverty through economic growth and financial stability.