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After the lockdown – Hamburg is experiencing a start-up boom

After the lockdown – Hamburg is experiencing a start-up boom

According to a recent study, the number of start-ups has reached pre-mortgage debt crisis heights

Statistikamt Nord (The North Statistics Office) published a study about start-ups in Hamburg on 16 August, showing a massive increase in the number of business start-ups in the city. While the pandemic is slowly coming under control, the number of start-ups in the first half of 2021 rose by 22% when compared with the same period last year. The data even shows that people are becoming bolder, as new companies are outpacing closures.

Necessity breeds innovation

During the pandemic, the unemployment rate in Germany’s second-largest city went up by more than 1%, according to Statista – a global statistics platform. This sharp rise followed a steady decreasing trend with unemployment peaking in 2005 at 11.3%.

In 2019 the unemployment rate was at its lowest point – 6.1%, then in 2020 it went up to 7.6%. This data, however, does not show the full picture, because Europe’s longest lockdown was in the latter half of 2020 and the beginning of 2021. Naturally, there is a lack of conclusive evidence on the effects of the lockdown since it is too early to tell.

In the first half of 2021, 2,721 enterprises were founded in Hamburg. This is an increase of a good 22% compared to the first six months of last year. At the same time, new start-ups reached their highest level since the first half of 2008 when there were 2,808 newly founded businesses.

People who lost their jobs in hospitality or the event sector are looking for a new career path - or re-starting a previously closed company.

Many doors are closing, but even more are opening

The number of company closures also increased by 14%, however, in raw numbers, 1,700 more businesses have opened than the ones that have shut down.

Statistikamt Nord points out that one reason for the sudden uptick in business activity is the so-called catch-up effect. People paused their long-term plans during the lockdown, postponing their entrepreneurial endeavours for when the Covid-measures have loosened and here is the result.

There are 1.4 start-ups for every 1,000 inhabitants in Hamburg. However, this new economic activity is not spread evenly. The Hamburg-Mitte district shows a particularly high level of entrepreneurship - 3.3 new companies were founded there for every 1,000 residents. Meanwhile, in the Bergedorf district, the number was only 0.7.

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