Thursday, July 7, 2011


The OECD has recently published a useful companion book to academics, policymakers and practitioners interested in the phenomenon that is entrepreneurship.

"Entrepreneurship at a Glance" is a new, recurrent publication that presents an original collection of indicators for measuring the state of entrepreneurship along with explanations of the policy context and interpretation of the data.

This publication also includes special chapters that address measurement issues, and solutions, concerning entrepreneurship and its determinants. In this first issue, the special topics covered are: business demography and green entrepreneurs.

Whilst the book is, unfortunately, not available for free, the press release does give some indication as to the new data available.

For example the, statistics on enterprise creations and bankruptcies shows the major impact that the economic and financial crisis has had on entrepreneurial activity.  After a significant decrease in the second half of 2008, the number of new enterprises started to recover around the first half of 2009 in most countries (see graph below)

However, by the second quarter of 2010, the number of newly created enterprises was still below its pre-crisis level in most countries. The impact of the crisis was particularly long-lasting in Denmark and Spain, where the number of new firms being created during 2010 was still well below the high point before the crisis, but also in Finland, Germany, the Netherlands and the United States.

Other findings include:

  • National culture affects the attitude that individuals have towards entrepreneurship, the likelihood of choosing entrepreneurship as a career, the ambitions to succeed and to start again after a failure, or the support provided to family and relatives planning to set up a business, according to the report.
  • People in the Nordic countries and the United States have the most favourable image of entrepreneurs, with more than 70% of those surveyed saying they viewed entrepreneurs positively, according to a survey of adults in 36 countries. At the other end of the scale, only one person in three expressed a positive image of entrepreneurs in Eastern European and Asian countries surveyed, including Hungary, Poland, the Slovak Republic, Japan and Korea.
  • Green entrepreneurship stands out in Sweden, Finland, Spain, Italy, New Zealand and Brazil, all of which display exceptionally dynamic performance.
  • Indicators on women entrepreneurs show that there are no major differences in the way male or female business owners perceive obstacles to starting a business or growing it. Men and women entrepreneurs agree that obstacles facing start-ups include legal and administrative matters, developing contacts with customers and access to finance. Subsequently, the obstacles to success come from the level of competition, business costs and the state of the economy.
Given my links with the OECD, will try and blag a copy soon so I can go into more detail on the different chapters.