During the process of founding an enterprise, founders must make a number of strategic decisions in order for their new enterprise to successfully enter the market. Even after a successful start in the market, important strategic decisions have to be made to establish the enterprise sustainably in the market. Decisions made at any particular moment necessarily have consequences for future strategic decisions. Not all strategies that are chosen by young entrepreneurs are successful. In extreme cases, misguided strategic decisions can render the enterprise unviable and force it out of the market. Securing the survival of an enterprise can be regarded as the overriding goal and, therefore, as the main criterion of success. The present report on the results of the 2012 KfW/ZEW Start-up Panel examines strategic decisions in the areas of human resources and financial management. It also discusses aggregated closure rates of young enterprises and determinants of the individual likelihood of survival. A particular focus is on possible correlations between the strategic decisions on employment and financing on the one hand and the likelihood of survival on the other.

English Executive Summary (as PDF, 214 KB)
Complete German Study (as PDF, 536 KB)