The number of company start-ups in 2012 reached almost 104,000, but that is down 15% on the previous year, according to new figures from the chambers of commerce (KvK).
Most of the start-ups were one-man only companies, which now account for 96% of the total, the KvK said in its report. There was also a 15% increase in the over-65s starting a company and women were behind around one-third of the start-ups.
Some 20% of the new entrepreneurs have foreign origins. There was a 12% rise in the number of Turkish start-ups and a 6% rise in the number of start-ups set up by people born in Morocco. The KvK does not record nationality but does register place of birth.
According to news agency ANP, the KvK said this may be because of the support ethnic minority entrepreneurs receive from their family networks, as well as the lack of opportunities in the jobs market.
The number of start-ups led by Polish nationals fell 7%.