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Credit Suisse launches "Entrepreneurs' Day"

Recognition of entrepreneurial spirit and innovation to mark the 200th birthday of Alfred Escher on February 20, 2019

February 20, 2019, marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of Alfred Escher. Credit Suisse is commemorating this event by launching Entrepreneurs' Day. The aim of this initiative is to highlight and acknowledge the great significance of entrepreneurship for Switzerland as an economic location and for the country's prosperity. Among other activities, Credit Suisse is collaborating with STARTUPS.CH on February 20 to offer budding entrepreneurs the opportunity to found their own company free of charge.


The achievements of Alfred Escher, the 19th century entrepreneurial pioneer and – among other things – founding father of Credit Suisse and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETH Zurich), have had a lasting influence on Switzerland as an economic center. Escher's formula for success – i.e. that prosperity and progress are inextricably linked to a strong infrastructure and positive operating conditions for companies – is no less true today than it was back then. In the same way that banks are needed to grant loans and facilitate growth, a healthy economy requires entrepreneurs with the courage to realize their vision.


Against this background, Credit Suisse has decided to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the birth of Alfred Escher not just by invoking the past but also by shining the spotlight on the present and future of entrepreneurship in Switzerland. For that reason, the bank has decided to hold the first-ever Swiss-wide day dedicated to the theme of entrepreneurship – “Entrepreneurs' Day” – on February 20 to recognize entrepreneurial spirit and showcase the achievements of more than 600,000 Swiss companies.


Broad spectrum of activities to promote entrepreneurship


The activities being held by Credit Suisse in connection with Entrepreneurs' Day build on two publications released at the end of 2018 – the Credit Suisse Progress Barometer and the special issue of the client magazine "Bulletin" entitled "Courageous decisions. Learning from Alfred Escher." Alongside its presence on various communication channels, Credit Suisse is joining forces with STARTUPS.CH to offer prospective entrepreneurs the opportunity to found their own company free of charge on February 20. Furthermore, they will be offered discounted memberships of two network organizations – the Swiss Venture Club and Switzerland Global Enterprise. Further to the bank's participation in the Swiss Entrepreneurs Fund, which was announced only last week, Credit Suisse will also unveil another measure on February 20 to provide even greater support to entrepreneurship in Switzerland.


Andreas Gerber, Head of SMEs at Credit Suisse, stated: "Entrepreneurs make a significant contribution to prosperity and progress in Switzerland. They take risks, create jobs, and promote innovation – thereby contributing to Switzerland's future success as an economic center. It is therefore time for us to say 'thank you' to them. This is precisely what we want to do on behalf of the Swiss population with Entrepreneurs' Day."


Further information on Entrepreneurs' Day can be found at: www.credit-suisse.com/entrepreneur


Seven interesting facts about entrepreneurship in Switzerland 


  1. 601,755 companies made up the Swiss economic landscape in 2016. More than two-thirds were from the tertiary sector (services), while the secondary sector (manufacturing, art, and commerce) accounted for around 15%, and the primary sector (agriculture, forestry, and fishing) just 9%.

    Source: SFSO, Corporate structure statistics (Statistik der Unternehmensstruktur – STATENT) 2018, provisional figures for 2016
  2. 99.7% of all companies in Switzerland have fewer than 250 employees. Together these positions make up approximately two-thirds of the approximate 4.4 million jobs in Switzerland.

    Source: SFSO, Corporate structure statistics (Statistik der Unternehmensstruktur – STATENT) 2018, provisional figures for 2016
  3. 43,174 companies were newly entered into the Commercial Register in 2018, most of them in the sectors of business services (B2B), corporate and tax consulting, skilled trades, retailing, and hospitality.

    Source: Swiss Official Gazette of Commerce (SOGC); IFJ (Institut für Jungunternehmen AG)
  4. More than a third of companies are founded by women, 54.9% by men, and 9.7% by men and women jointly.

    Source: Swiss Federal Statistical Office, Business demography statistics (Statistik der Unternehmensdemografie – UDEMO) 2016
  5. The average one-year survival rate for new companies in Switzerland is 83%. Of the companies that were founded in 2015, 32,820 were still active in 2016. The survival rate is particularly high in the health and social services sector.

    Source: SFSO, Business demography statistics (Unternehmensdemografie – UDEMO)
  6. The European Patent Office registered a total of 7,283 patent applications from Switzerland in 2017 – a new record. With 884 applications per one million inhabitants, Switzerland has the most patent applications per capita in Europe.

    Source: Federal Institute of Intellectual Property (IIP); European Patent Office (2018)
  7. In 2017, 218,539 apprenticeships were registered in Switzerland's basic professional training statistics. That means that roughly one out of every 23 employees in Switzerland is an apprentice.

    Source: SFSO, basic professional training statistics (Statistik der beruflichen Grundbildung – SBG-SFPI)