Entrepreneurial activity remains high despite fewer new entrants

Starting a business is still a trend in Switzerland despite the pending energy crisis, corona measures and rising insecurity that are affecting business activities. According to the newest IFJ study, 37,092 new companies entered the Swiss Commercial Register in the first nine months of the current year, marking a slight decrease of -1.6% compared to last year, but an 8.5% increase in the past five years. The ICT field is among the top growth sectors, with 2155 companies founded (a 5.7% increase).

The IFJ study reports a decrease in the number of companies founded between the first nine months of 2022 compared to the same period last year, which went down in history as a record with 37,693 new company incorporations. With a 3% increase (6861 companies), Zurich remains a major hotspot for new companies and together with Ticino, which saw a 0.8% increase (1687), the two cantons are the only major regions that registered growth in the first three quarters. The other major regions of Southwestern Switzerland (-0.7%) and Eastern Switzerland (-1.6%) show only slight declines compared to the same period last year. The decline in the number of new startups is somewhat higher in Central Switzerland (-.9%), Espace Mittelland (-4.3%) and Northwestern Switzerland (-4.3%).

The ICT sector is among the top growth sectors
In the current year, the top growth sectors include Public Health (+12.3%) and Transport & Logistics (+10.9%). With a 5.7% increase, the ICT sector scored sixth position. The highest percentage declines are in Agriculture & Forestry (-16.7%), Wholesale Trade (-13.4%) and Retail Trade (-11.6%). The analysis shows that the trade sector is struggling. In addition to the Public Health and IT & ICT, smaller sectors, in particular, are recording very positive accents.

Development over the past five years
Although the number of companies has slightly declined, an overview of the last five years showed a steady increase in the number of new companies founded in the first three quarters per year. Over the last five years, an average of 34,191 new companies were registered in the first three quarters per year. With 37,092 new companies, Q1 to Q3 2022 recorded the second highest level and is with +8.5% significantly higher than the average of the first three quarters in the last five years.

In the current year, the positive long-term trend in the number of new companies founded has stabilized at a high level. Economic adjustments are still taking place in some sectors. In addition, many companies are under pressure as a result of the energy crisis and their existence is threatened. Nevertheless, people are looking for meaningful employment more than ever.

(Press release)
Image: Swiss Official Gazette of Commerce SOGC; analysis and graph: IFJ Institut für Jungunternehmen AG