For the Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce, 2016 was an eventful year with a host of new developments. In its 175th anniversary year, the institution witnessed an unprecedented increase in the number of start-ups.
The economic crisis and the waves of redundancies that followed seem to have provided many budding entrepreneurs with the impetus they needed to take the plunge and set up their own company. And the new sole trader status created by the introduction of the simplified limited liability company (société à responsabilité limitée simplifiée), with a minimum share capital of just €1, has led to a surge in the number of start-ups since the law came into force on 16 January 2017. Some 160 of these €1 companies, known as "S.à.r.l.-S" companies, have already been set up.
Fledgling companies jostle for position
In addition to the rise in start-ups, the past year was also marked by the creation of the House of Entrepreneurship in October 2016. This one-stop shop for start-up entrepreneurs is open to all those keen to try their hand at setting up a business. The aim is to provide assistance with the administrative procedures involved in creating a company. This platform experienced significant growth in 2016. The number of face-to-face sessions leapt by 165%, reaching a total of 3,785 appointments, while the number of phone calls rose by 102% and emails went up by 12%.
But there are still challenges ahead. Given the lack of space at the House of Fintech, the Chamber of Commerce is working with Luxembourg City authorities to find a new incubator to house new start-ups for this cluster.
Finally, as well as being a remarkable year in terms of new start-ups, vocational training also went from strength to strength in 2016. The House of Training, an organisation for continuing vocational training, provided some 40,000 hours of training last year.
(Article written by the editorial team of the portal luxembourg.lu)