Entrepreneurs' Day

Entrepreneurs' Day

Thank you – Danke – Merci – Grazie – Grazia fitg

Entrepreneurs are the backbone of the Swiss economy. They achieve amazing things. Every day, they make a significant contribution to welfare, development, and progress in Switzerland. They take risks, create jobs, promote innovation, and are an integral part of their region. For these reasons, we at Credit Suisse are creating "Entrepreneurs' Day" on February 20, 2019 – the 200th anniversary of our founder Alfred Escher's birth. This enables us to say thank you to all entrepreneurs in Switzerland on behalf of the Swiss population!

To mark this occasion, together with our partners, we are launching interesting campaigns on February 20, 2019:

20 impressive facts on Swiss entrepreneurship:

2nd place

Comparison of economic centers

As an economic center, Switzerland offers companies excellent framework conditions when compared internationally: Switzerland took second place in the 2018 Global Entrepreneurship and Development Index (GEDI).

Source: 2018 Global Entrepreneurship and Development Index (GEDI)

38th place

Business climate  

In the 2019 World Bank Ease of Doing Business Index, which ranks countries by their business climate, Switzerland ranked 38th in an international comparison, dropping five places compared to the previous year.

Source: Doing Business 2019, World Bank


Total number of companies

That's how many companies there were in Switzerland in 2016. More than two-thirds were from the tertiary sector (services), 15% from the secondary sector (manufacturing, art, and industry), and only 9% fell in the primary sector (agriculture, forestry, and fishing).

Source: SFSO, Corporate Structure Statistics (Statistik der Unternehmensstruktur – STATENT), provisional figures for 2016


Number of jobs

99.7% of all commercial enterprises in Switzerland employ fewer than 250 people (SMEs). That makes up approximately two-thirds of the approximate 4.4 million jobs in Switzerland.

Source: SFSO, Corporate Structure Statistics (Statistik der Unternehmensstruktur – STATENT), provisional figures for 2016


Companies founded

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, trades, retail trade, and hospitality.

Source: Swiss Official Gazette of Commerce (SOGC); IFJ (Institut für Jungunternehmen AG) 


Industrial and commercial properties

That's how much developed land in Switzerland is allocated to industrial and commercial properties.

Source: SFSO, Swiss land-use statistics (Arealstatistik Schweiz – AREA)


Survival rate for new companies

The average one-year survival rate for new companies in Switzerland is 83%. In 2015, 32,820 of the companies that were founded ex nihilo were still active in 2016. The survival rate is particularly high in the health and social services sector.

Source: SFSO, Business demography (Unternehmensdemografie – UDEMO)


Family businesses

Three-quarters of the close to 585,000 Swiss SMEs are family firms – that is, wholly owned by the founding family. 

Source: Credit Suisse Succession Survey 2016


Female entrepreneurs

Women are still underrepresented in the category of self-employed persons (including people employed in their own company), but their share is rising. In the second quarter of 2018, the proportion of women entrepreneurs was 37.3%.

Source: SFSO, Swiss Labor Force Survey (SLFS), second quarter of 2018


Women in leadership

The proportion of women in management positions was 35.4% in 2017. Ten years ago that figure was 32.8%. In 1996, the proportion was only 29.4%.

Source: Swiss Labour Force Survey (SLFS)

42.6 hours

Work hours per week

According to an EU28/EFTA country comparison, Iceland had the longest working week at 42 hours and 54 minutes (42.9 hours), followed by Switzerland (42.6), the UK (40.7), and Romania (40.6). In Germany, the weekly working time was 40 hours. Finland (37.8) and France (37.6) were at the bottom of the list.

Source: SFSO, Swiss Labor Force Survey and related statistics: working hours



In 2017, 218,539 apprenticeships were registered in the basic professional training statistics. That means that roughly one out of every 23 employees in Switzerland is an apprentice. Basic professional training with a Certificate of Qualification of the Swiss Federation (Eidgenössisches Fähigkeitszeugnis – EFZ) made up more than 90% of all apprenticeships.

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


New jobs per day

The Swiss labor market is highly dynamic: Every day in Switzerland around 1,350 jobs are created, 37% of which come from new companies. At the same time, around 1,250 jobs are lost. On average, however, that comes out to a net gain of 100 jobs per day. 

Source: Economiesuisse (2017)


Costs per hour worked

On average, one hour of work in Switzerland cost CHF 60.05 in 2016 for companies in the secondary and tertiary sector. 

Source: SFSO, Swiss Labor Force Survey and related statistics: working hours


Gross domestic product

In 2017, Switzerland's total gross domestic product was CHF 668.6 billion. The agriculture sector contributed approximately 0.7% to gross value added, the industrial sector 25.5%, and the service sector 73.8%.

Source: Swiss Federal Statistical Office, national accounts (2018)


Patent applications

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)



In 2018, the Swiss economy exported goods with a value of CHF 233.1 billion – a new record. Imports also increased to CHF 201.8 billion.

Source: Swiss Federal Customs Administration (FCA)


Switzerland is a country of commuters

Approximately 4 million people, or nine out of every ten Swiss workers, are commuters (as of 2017). In 2017, slightly more than half of commuters travelled to work by car, 31% used public transportation, and 15% walked or rode their bike.

Source: Swiss Federal Statistical Office, commuter mobility (2019)


Energy consumption

In 2017, the total energy consumption of the service sector was 139,230 terajoules (TJ). The industrial sector used 157,080 TJ. Together that makes a total consumption of 296,310 TJ. 1 terajoule is 277,778 kilowatt hours.

Source: SFOE, 2017 Swiss total energy statistics


Corporate succession

Approximately 45% of companies are transferred to family (family buyout), 30% to employees who are not family members (management buyout), and 25% to a person outside of the company (management buy-in).

Source: Credit Suisse, study "Corporate Succession in Practice" (June 2016)