Starting one-man businesses have better chances of survival

01/10/2013 15:00

Three quarters of one-man businesses launched in 2009 were still active in 2012. Their chances of survival were higher than for one-man businesses launched in 2007. Profit margins of one-man businesses started up in 2007 and still active in 2012 have diminished.

More likely to survive

In 2012, 75 percent of one-man businesses launched in 2009 were still active, whereas only 63 percent of one-man businesses launched in 2007 had survived three years later. Surprisingly, one-man businesses started up during the recession in 2008 or 2009 appear to have a better chance of survival than those started up in 2007.

Share surviving one-man businesses by starting year

Share surviving one-man businesses by starting year

Lower profit margin

One-man businesses launched in 2007 and still active in 2011 have seen their profit margins plummet by more than 11 percent. The decline is due to higher prices for raw and auxiliary materials.

Strangely enough, in the category one-man businesses started up in the construction sector in 2007, the proportion of one-man businesses with negative profit margins was the lowest (3.5 percent in 2011), although the construction sector suffered  severely during the crisis. Small construction firms benefitted from the fact that maintenance work must be carried out, even in times of economic hardship.

Distribution profit margin starting one-man businesses, 2007

Distribution profit margin starting one-man businesses, 2007

Ralph Wijnen and Noortje Pouwels-Urlings