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Swiss confidence in creating startups at six-year low

Published on July 29, 2019

Despite significant investments in the Swiss startup scene, the perceived capability to start a new business is lower than most high-income countries.

Only 36.3% of 2,400 Swiss surveyed by Fribourg’s School of Management felt they were capable of creating a new company. This is the lowest level of confidence since 2012, say authors of the report which fed into the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor 2018/19. Only Italians were less confident among the 15 high-income countries surveyed, with Canadians and Americans at the top (little over 55%).

The fear of failure has also increased by 10 percentage points compared to 2017. Overall, only 7.4% of Swiss participated in entrepreneurial activities in 2018 compared to an average of 10.4% across all 15 countries surveyed. Among 18-24-year-olds only 2.2% were involved in entrepreneurial activity, the lowest among countries surveyed and well below the average of 9.5%.

The silver lining in the Swiss startup scene was the quality of the startups. The proportion of companies which were founded as a result of good opportunities was above average (67.6%), while those created out of necessity accounted for only 13.9%.

“This explains why founders tend to have high growth expectations: one-third would like to hire six or more people in the next five years,” says the report.