Most foreign business owners run bars or shops. R. G.
With almost six million unemployed Spain is no longer a country where a foreigner can easily find work. Therefore more and more residents are turning to the alternative: to go it alone. While in general self-employment figures are falling in this country, foreigners are joining the ‘autónomo’ regime at a rate of 32 a day.
The latest figures published by the Federation of Associations of Self-Employed Workers reveal that some 8,679 people of non-Spanish origin joined the self-employed social security regime between January and September, an increase of 4.2 per cent.
The figure becomes even more significant when compared with the general trend. During the same period the total self-employed numbers in Spain fell by 23,937.
In other words, while the system lost 88 ‘autónomo’ contributors every day, it still gained 32 foreign entrepreneurs. Of a total of 3,044,854 self-employed workers currently in Spain, 7.1 per cent have come from other countries.
An analysis of the countries of origin of Spain’s new self-employed workers reveals China, Italy, Morocco and Romania as the top four. Between January and September the number Italians becoming their own boss in Spain went up by 973 people (7.2 per cent), and those from China increased by 2,360 (6.5 per cent. There were 603 new Moroccan entrepreneurs (up 6.5 per cent) and 843 of Romanian origin (up 3.7 per cent). These four nationalities represent 55 per cent of new additions to the list.
However the other side of the coin shows the business owners forced by the crisis to cease trading. The largest number of foreigners who left the ‘autónomo’ regime between January and September were originally from Ecuador. They were followed in number by Argentinians, Colombians and Portuguese.
The different economic sectors have all seen an increase in foreign entrepreneurs. Some 3,559 (8.7 per cent more) started a business in the hotel and catering industry, 4,490 (7.3 per cent more) were in commerce while administrative services and agriculture have also seen increases of 6.4 per cent and 5.5 per cent respectively.
The vast majority, 92.7%, of new foreign business owners operate in the hotel and catering industry or commerce.