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Start-up research | 2022 Start-ups by minors - their prevalence, characteristics, and as routes to employment

Laufendes Forschungsvorhaben

Initial situation/problem

Start-ups founded by minors only play a minor economic role. At the same time,  for many years, various initiatives sought to introduce schoolchildren to the idea of entrepreneurship and encourage them to (later) start a business. Yet, we do not know how many minors are actually active as entrepreneurs, their socio-demographic background, and their start-up plans. It is also unclear how this early entrepreneurial activity affects their subsequent employment history. Does it increase the likelihood of being self-employed in adult life as well?

Research objective/approach

The project aims to generate basic information on minors founding start-ups and their businesses. It also investigates their employment development. Various data sources will be used for this purpose. Reliable information on the number of underage founders can be obtained from the family courts, which must give their consent to any such founding. Access can be obtained from the state ministries of justice. Further information is provided by the Taxpayer Panel and the Micro census, while the National Education Panel can provide information on the employment biography of founding minors. Finally, case studies will be used to obtain more detailed information on the founders and their start-ups.