Start-ups are of great importance for economic dynamics and the renewal of the municipal knowledge base. A distinction must be made between commercial and freelance start-ups.
Commercial start-ups are on the rise
The number of new businesses founded in Bonn in 2021 was 2,498. Compared to the previous year, the number of new businesses founded in Bonn increased significantly by +20.1%; in NRW as a whole, the increase was much weaker at +6.6%. At the same time, the number of business deregistrations in Bonn also rose sharply by +12.1%, which amounts to 1,853 deregistrations in absolute terms. The national average for deregistrations remained virtually unchanged at -0.4% over the year. Due to the strong figures for business registrations, the net balance of new businesses in Bonn in 2021 is clearly positive at plus 645 (previous year: +427).
With the study "Freiberufliche Existenzgründungen in Deutschland und seinen Regionen im Jahr 2014," the Bonn-based Institut für Mittelstandsforschung (IfM) has for the first time comprehensively determined the number of start-ups in the liberal professions based on data from the financial administration. The start-up activity of the liberal professions is primarily concentrated in large cities, whereby the IfM researchers assume that these are particularly attractive for start-ups of the liberal professions "...if the local demand for services is stimulated by governmental or administrative institutions, corporate headquarters and/or numerous cultural institutions. In addition, resident universities as well as other educational and research institutions generate a large labor force potential for liberal professions with a tendency toward high affinity for self-employment."
According to IfM data, 630 start-ups in the liberal professions were registered in the federal city of Bonn in 2021 (2021: 585, 2020: 737). This corresponds to rank 18 of all 401 German independent cities and counties (previous year: rank 20). In relation to the Bonn spatial planning region, which consists of the city of Bonn and the Rhein-Sieg district, the number of business startups in 2021 is approximately 1,260. This value corresponds to a freelance business startup intensity of 21.9 (business startups per 10,000 employable inhabitants*). Compared to all 96 German regional planning regions, the Bonn ROR is still in 6th place, led by the RORs of Berlin (business start-up intensity of 49.0), Hamburg (33.9) and Munich (31.2) and West Saxony/Leipzig (29.1).
In Bonn, a total of 50 companies filed for insolvency proceedings in 2021, compared with 42 in 2020. It should be noted that special conditions still applied in some cases in the context of the Covid 19 pandemic. For example, the insolvency filing requirement for companies was partially suspended at the beginning of 2021. In addition, the special government stimulus packages for companies must be taken into account.
Self-employment rate continues to decline
The self-employment rate measures the percentage of self-employed persons among all employed persons at the place of work. According to the data currently available, the number of self-employed in Bonn in 2020 was 16,200 (previous year: 16,800); the number of employed was 254,400. This corresponds to a slightly lower self-employment rate of 6.4% (previous year: 6.6%) in Bonn compared with the previous year. It should be noted that the rate has changed due to the absolute decline in the number of self-employed (-600) as well as the change in the reference figure. Thus, the number of employed persons also declined between 2019 and 2020 with minus 500. The number of employees in 2020 was 238,200; according to the definition of the Federal Statistical Office, these are blue-collar workers, white-collar workers, civil servants, soldiers and trainees. The self-employment rate for NRW as a whole was 8.2% in 2020, a decrease of 0.2 percentage points compared with the previous year and of the same order of magnitude as in Bonn.