The Formation of New Firms – An Empirical Analysis from Switzerland
Because of its importance to a dynamic development of the economy, the formation of new firms has been viewed with greater interest from policy makers at the national, regional and local levels and from representatives of private business associations, formal and informal networks. According to statements of the Swiss Federal Office for Vocational Education and Technology (BBT, Bern), there are more than 200 initiatives that aim at encouraging the formation of new firms in Switzerland. However, an accompanying scientific study of these initiatives is lacking. Serious knowledge gaps exist. The present research project attempts to make a contribution, in a systematic way, to fill in some of these gaps. It is based on a study of 20 case studies and of a large survey conducted in 1999 emong 745 newly founded firms in Switzerland. Initial results are presented concerning the fol-lowing areas: (1) Portrait of firm founders. (2) Success indicators of firm for-mation. (3) Factors affecting success of firm formation. (4) Relationships be-tween success and success factors. (5) Future prospects. Finally policy recommendations are drawn from our findings.
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