The pandemic has only slightly slowed down the start-up activity in Germany in 2020. According to a joint study by Creditreform and ZEW Mannheim, almost 165,000 new companies were founded last year. However, the development varied greatly depending on the sector. Regardless of the COVID-19 crisis, the number of companies grew slightly last year to nearly 3.3 million. Once again, more companies were founded than closed. The Mannheim Enterprise Panel (MEP), conducted by ZEW, recorded around 156,000 firm closures, for example due to withdrawal from business or insolvency.