One-Person Businesses Booming in the Netherlands

One-Person Businesses Booming in the Netherlands

The Dutch Bureau of Statistics has new figures out — and they show that the numbers of one-person businesses are booming. Over two-thirds of new companies in 2011 were one-man enterprises. Five years ago this share was still only 55 percent. In business services, and information and communication in particular the percentage of one-man businesses has increased.

In 2011 the number of enterprises grew by nearly 7 percent according to Statistics Netherlands. The number of consultancies, in particular, rose last year and construction is the most dynamic sector.

The 7 percent net increase in the number of companies in 2011 was comparable with that in 2007. In 2010 the number rose by 3.5 percent.

The construction industry has been the most dynamic sector since 2007. In 2007 and 2008 the number of companies in this sector grew by around 12 percent, while two years later growth had almost come to a standstill. Last year, the number of businesses in construction activities rose by 5 percent. The increase in the number of companies is above average in business services, and information and communication. In manufacturing and trade, transport, and the hotel and restaurant sector the number grew by less than average.

The sector with the largest number of new businesses was consultancy: 14 thousand. These new companies account for 20 percent of the total number of companies in this sector. For most sectors in the top 10, the low starting up costs are an advantage for new businesses.

Webshops on the rise
Six thousand new companies in 2011 were online retail outlets, over 35 percent of the number of companies in this sector. In 2007 this was still 22 percent. More and more businesses starting out in retail are opting to sell their products via the internet.

Nearly 20 percent of all the companies that started business in 2007 closed down within one year; 55 percent are still in business today. Companies active in construction or manufacturing have the greatest chance of surviving. Those in the trade and the hotel and restaurant sectors have the smallest chance of staying in business.

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