SME newcomers are mostly lightweights

As was reported in January 2006 by the Federal Agency for Statistics most companies set up in 2004 started as one-man shows. Thus, in March of 2004 three quarters of the 276.000 full-time founding entrepreneurs (76 percent) started without paid employees. Among the 68.000 founders which set up on their own on a part-time basis, even 93 percent started out as individual fighters. As compared to the year 1996, the number of individual founders has substantially risen in the full-time field (by about 10 percent) as well as in the part-time sphere (plus 5 percent). One-man companies on a full-time basis were set up mainly by men (70 percent), whereas on a part-time basis it were mostly woman who set up their one-woman business (62 percent). This trend is allarming to SME, since with the increasing part of one-person companies the importance of SME as a whole reduces.

The figures were gathered in the course of the Gendermonitor Existenzgründungen survey in 2004 which had been promoted by the Federal Ministry of Family, Old People, Woman and Youth. The findings of this survey are available free of charge in PDF format. GERMAN