New enterprises five years later: more than one in two was still active in 2007
In 2007, slightly more than one in two French enterprises were still in business five years after their creation. Over time, some entrepreneurs grow their businesses, some simply keep them alive, and others fail. The odds of survival chiefly depend on the conditions in which the founder has prepared the business plan. Other decisive factors are the choice of activity sector, the initial investment, and legal status. Retail firms are the most vulnerable; the larger the initial investment, the longer the enterprise lasts; and incorporated enterprises are more likely to stay in business than unincorporated ones. Whatever the enterprise characteristics, the key assets of new entrepreneurs are earlier business experience and educational attainment. Firms surviving in 2007 had built up their sales and, most decisively, their workforce in the first three years of their life.