Largest number of enterprise births since 2009

© Hollandse Hoogte
In 2017, the Dutch enterprise population expanded by over 73 thousand on balance, the highest number since 2009. Management consulting firms still form the largest group among newly born enterprises, but are also most likely to terminate their activities. Enterprise birth rates are rising most rapidly in the sectors education and retail. This is reported by Statistics Netherlands (CBS) on the basis of newly available figures on enterprise births and deaths.

In 2017, nearly 170 thousand newly born enterprises began operations, the highest number since 2009. The majority (94 percent) are sole propietorships. More than 95 thousand enterprises terminated activities, the lowest level since 2008. The gap between enterprise birth and death rates was the widest since 2009.

Gap between enterprise births and deaths
 Gap between enterprise births and deaths (x 1,000)

New businesses again mainly management consultancies

As in previous years, most newly born enterprises in 2017 were management consulting firms (nearly 13 thousand). The education sector saw relatively many births as well, e.g. in sports education (nearly 3.5 thousand) and study counselling (3 thousand).
Also high on the list is retail trade, mainly on account of a surge in new web shops. In the art sector as well, many new businesses were created. Starting entrepreneurs in outpatient care services are mostly paramedic practices (excluding physiotherapy and psychology) such as dieticians, opticians, podotherapists, primary care assistant practitioners and nurses (excluding home care).

Sectors with the highest enterprise birth rates, 2017
 Sole proprietorships (x 1,000)Other enterprises (x 1,000)
Management consulting firms12.250.4
Education (excl. educational institutes) 10.10.25
Retail (excl. shops and markets)8.780.45
Wellness and other services7.530.19
Outpatient health care7.010.28
Financial holdings6.540.15
IT services5.940.37
Industrial design5.170.19

Dissolution also most often seen in management consultancies

While management consultancies comprise the majority of new enterprises, they also represent the majority in enterprise deaths. Last year, altogether more than 7 thousand companies in this sector were dissolved. Other sectors with high company birth rates show an equally high failure rate and are therefore also highly dynamic. In terms of enterprise death rates, retail trade (web shops) and financial holdings are in second and third place respectively. In all of the above sectors, there was a higher number of births than deaths last year.

Sectors with the highest enterprise death rates, 2017
 Sole proprietorships (x 1,000)Other enterprises (x 1,000)
Management consulting firms6.80.32
Retail (excl. shops and markets)5.20.23
Financial holdings4.060.17
Outpatient health care3.820.26
Wellness and other services3.80.29
Education (excl. educational institutes)3.740.22
IT services3.340.31
Architectural and engineering firms1.890.14

Number of start-ups doubled in sports education and study counselling

In several sectors, the number of enterprise births increased steadily from 2007. The number of company births rose most sharply in sports education and study counselling: from slightly under 5 thousand in 2007 to over 10 thousand in 2017. In retail trade as well, the number of births rose steadily over this period (web shops in particular). In 2007, almost 5 thousand companies began operations in this sector, versus more than 9 thousand in 2017.

Sectors with greatest increase in number of enterprise births
 2017 (x 1,000)2007 (x 1,000)
Education (excl. educational institutes)10.44.9
Retail (excl. shops and markets)9.24.9
Outpatient health care7.35
Industrial design5.41.5
Welfare work elderly and handicapped2.80.5

The percentage increase in enterprise births is largest among installation companies involving industrial machinery. In 2007, 30 new companies were born in this sector; this had multiplied almost ninefold by 2017 (260 births). In addition, the number of newly born enterprises rose relatively sharply in the beverage industry, namely from 20 in 2007 to 160 in 2017. These were mainly beer breweries. Another substantial percentage increase between 2007 and 2017 was furthermore seen in business services operating in the education sector, in welfare work for elderly and handicapped people, as well as in decontamination and other waste management services.