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Press release Startups in the liberal professions continue to rise

Female freelancers establish themselves most in Berlin and Hamburg

The number of startups in the liberal professions increased by 1.7% in 2023 compared to the previous year, reaching around 94,670. This means that once again, more freelancers took the path to self-employment than in the previous year. At the same time, the number of freelance startups exceeded the pre-pandemic level for the first time (2019: 93,590). This is also reflected in the startup intensity, the number of startups per 10,000 economically active inhabitants: It is now at 18.4, surpassing both 2022 (18.1) and 2019 (18.2).

The number of startups in the liberal professions increased most in Saarland and Baden-Württemberg. In Saxony, Bremen, Hesse, Hamburg, and Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, fewer freelancers started businesses compared to 2022.

In the north the proportion of women is higher

The proportion of women in all self-employed startups remained constant (54.8%) in the federal average. But their startup share was significantly above the average in Schleswig-Holstein (59.0%) and Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania (58.8%). Relative to 10,000 employees, the number of female-led startups was highest in Berlin (57) and Hamburg (38), followed by Saxony and Bavaria (22).