CRIF Study: 25.6% of company founders are women

CRIF examined who set up new companies in 2020. In Switzerland, 67,753 people founded new companies in 2020. Of these, 74.4% were men and 25.6% were women. The most popular legal form chosen by both men and women was the GmbH (private limited company), which accounted for 18,286 new businesses, followed by sole proprietorships (14,890) and AGs (public limited companies) of which there were 9,355. However, when we examined those sectors where most new companies were founded by women, we found that they mainly chose a “sole proprietorship” or GmbH as their legal form.

Sectors involving a higher number of female company founders
Most female company founders are found in the “provision of personal services” sector (1196). These are primarily hairdressing and cosmetics businesses and nail studios. The next most popular sectors for female company founders are social services (199), clothing manufacture (138) and veterinary services (46).

In the sectors where most new companies are formed, the majority of new businesses are founded by men
A closer look at the sectors that reported most company formations in 2020 shows that these were predominantly set up by men. In the retail trade, which mainly employs women, the proportion of female company founders is 34.1%. 32% of new businesses are founded by women in the food and drink sector, 27.3% in management consultancy, 24.2% in the property sector and 16.9% in the provision of financial services. The construction industry lies at the bottom of the league in the larger sectors; here, women set up just 12.7% of all new companies.

About the survey process
Female company founders. In this survey, we took into account those people whose names were entered into the Commercial Register for the first time for companies founded in 2020. This might involve several individuals in those cases where no unique founders were identified, such as a public limited company, limited partnership or private limited company.