Growing number of small enterprises

03/03/2011 15:00

On 1 January 2010, there were 864 thousand businesses and institutions in the Netherlands, an increase by more than 19 thousand relative to 1 January 2009. The growth was entirely caused by an increase in small enterprises. The growth of the number of businesses is less substantial than last year.

Number of businesses

Number of businesses

More small enterprises

The amount of one-man enterprises was 5 percent up on one year previously. Businesses employing 2 to 5 persons showed a very modest growth. In both size categories, the growth rate was below the level of one year previously. The amount of larger businesses was reduced, whereas it was still growing in the preceding year. 

More construction firms, transport and IT companies

In construction, transport and IT, the amount of businesses was again higher than one year previously, but the growth rate slowed down. The number of small businesses is relatively high in the sectors construction and IT. In manufacturing industry, trade and hotels and restaurants, the amount of businesses was reduced. The number of agricultural holdings was also reduced further. The decline was registered across all size categories.

Businesses by number of employees

Businesses by number of employees

Growing amount of one-person businesses

Because of the above-average growth of one-person businesses in recent years, their share in the private sector has become more important. In 2007, half of all businesses in the Netherlands were one-person businesses. In 2010, their share had climbed to 57 percent. All other size categories declined proportionally over the same period. Last year, 34 percent of all businesses were employing between 2 and 10 persons and nearly 8 percent of companies were employing between 10 and 100 persons. Just less than 1 percent of all businesses employed a staff of 100 or more.

Businesses by size category

Businesses by size category

Carin Zwaneveld and Kasper Leufkens