Wednesday 22 September 2021 8:27 am

Nation of entrepreneurs: UK home to more small businesses than any other country in Europe

The number of small businesses has skyrocketed in the past year. With a wave of redundancies and furloughing alongside spending more time at home, people took the opportunity to set up their own small businesses.

This has meant that the world has seen an increase in ‘micro enterprises’, businesses with less than 10 employees. 

To find out which countries are the best at producing lasting micro enterprises, the performance of businesses with one to nine employees in 28 different European countries was scrutinised by to find out what percentage of these businesses survived a five-year period. The platform shared its findings with City A.M.


The UK is home to the largest number of micro enterprises which have survived five years in Europe. Britain created a whopping 265,255 micro enterprises with one to nine employees in 2013, of which an incredible 114,590 survived five years, more than any other country in Europe.

Although this means that the UK has a five-year survival rate for its micro enterprises of 43 per cent, their surviving businesses more than double those of any other country.

The countries with the most micro enterprises after five years 

 Country Micro enterprises survived five years 
#1 United Kingdom 114,590 
#2 Turkey 56,395 
#3 France 35,060 
#4 Italy 31,211 
#5 Spain 28,612 

Completing the top 10 countries are: Germany, Poland, Romania, Portugal, and Slovakia, in that order. 

Moreover, the best country for the survival of micro enterprises is France. Over a five-year period, France boasts a business survival rate of 75 per cent. In 2013, the country produced 46,549 micro enterprises, of which 35,060 were still running five years later. 

The second most successful country is Sweden with a five-year survival rate of 73 per cent. In 2013, the country produced 17,574 micro enterprises, of which 12,908 survived the five-year period. 

Coming third is Slovakia with a survival rate of 70 per cent for micro enterprises. Slovakia produced 18,949 micro businesses in 2013, of which 13,328 survived five years.

Best countries for micro enterprise survival 

 Country Micro enterprises birthed in 2013 Micro enterprises survived until 2018 Five-year survival rate 
#1 France 46,549 35,060 75% 
#2 Sweden 17,574 12,908 73% 
#3 Slovakia 18,949 13,328 70% 
#4 Netherlands 7,032 4,610 66% 
#5 Czechia 8,680 5,533 64% 
#6 Luxembourg 1,247 770 62% 
#7 Belgium 5,905 3,527 60% 
#7 Portugal 22,339 13,334 60% 
#9 Lithuania 4,518 2,675 59% 
#10 Finland 5,088 2,955 58%