Pushing On

Creating the New Captains of Industry

Source: DPA
German business is anxiously awaiting a new golden age.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    Germany’s government needs to spend money on encouraging innovation, to push entrepreneurs to take risks and create the corporate giants of tomorrow, writes the author.

  • Facts

    Facts

    • The number of German cutting edge technology companies being launched has dropped by over 30 percent since the year 2000.
    • Major companies in Germany have pushed such spending up by 6 percent in recent years, but many important  companies are falling behind.
    • Most company founders are between the ages of 35 and 45. In 2000, there were 14.8 million people in this age group in Germany. In 2015, it was only 11 million — a drop of 25 percent.
  • Audio

    Audio

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In many ways it is the best of times.

The German economy held up well in 2015. The number of people in employment  grew steadily, up to 43.4 million as of October — nearly 3 million more than the fall of  2007, a year before the financial crisis.

The state is also shouldering the high cost of caring for a million immigrants, without incurring new debt. The “Mittelstand” — the many family-run, private businesses that are the backbone of Germany’s economy — are admired worldwide.

But this is not the time for complacency, and it is important we ask ourselves: Just how sustainable is Germany’s enviable economic position?

Tomorrow’s prosperity will depend on whether companies remain competitive, and create new markets developed through innovation. And one important driver to all this is starting new companies.

But the number of companies being founded in Germany is steadily sinking. Since the year 2000, it has fallen some 30 percent.

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