Flemish entrepreneurship close to EU average

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Contrary to general assumptions that Flemings are reluctant to start their own business, Flemish entrepreneurship almost reached the EU27 average of 10.1% in 2007, with 9.8% of the Flemish working population and 7.9% of the Walloon Region setting off on their own. These are the findings of a survey conducted by the Louvain Centre for Employment and Social Economy WAV. The European comparison contradicts the “lamentations about the lack of entrepreneurship in Flanders,” WAV writes in its report. Only Ireland, with its 12,1%, the Netherlands 10.8% and the United Kingdom 10.3% beat Flanders as far as entrepreneurship is concerned. In fact, Flanders scores better than Germany, France, and even Denmark and Sweden. “Flanders has no reason to feel ashamed,” the researchers maintain. Following a slight downturn between 2000 and 2003, the region recorded an increase of 0.9% in entrepreneurship during the period 2003 and 2007, with the number of start-ups growing as well. In 2007 self-employed without any staff members professionals, farmers, retailers in Flanders constituted 5.6% of the working population, while those who do employ staff make up 3.4% of the working population.

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