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February Seminar


Entrepreneurship Database Project and We-Data:
How did COVID-19 impact business formation around the world? 




Frederic Meunier, World Bank Group

Ingmar Vali, Business Register of Estonia



Wednesday, February 16, 2022

10:00 AM – 11:00 AM (Washington DC time)



Link to Database

New data from the World Bank Entrepreneurship Database help understand the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on new business registration. Data were collected directly from business registries - the entry point for entrepreneurs joining or transitioning to the formal sector - in more than 170 economies. The first part of the seminar will go through the main trends.

  • The majority of economies experienced a decrease in business entry around the world.
  • The exception is in OECD high income economies where the majority of countries experienced an increase in business entry on a yearly basis – despite some temporary drops related to COVID-19 restrictions.
  • The gender gaps in female entrepreneurship remained very wide across economies.
  • During the COVID-19 crisis, the use of digital technology supported the continuity of services to businesses. Economies with online company registration processes were able to ensure business continuity – keeping the business registry operational.


Estonia became the economy with the highest new business density in the world – at 24.2 new limited liability companies per 1,000 adults. The Business Register of Estonia implemented innovative solutions and leveraged its digital technology to support business entry over the past years. In addition, gender disaggregated data are collected with granularity for firm owners, directors and sole-proprietors.

The second part of the seminar will explain the following:

  • Estonia’s context and policy changes;
  • IT solutions and innovations at the Business Register;
  • The way forward for 2023-2026.

Connection Details

Meeting number (access code): 2305 259 9356

Meeting password: bgD5nXdx8c8

Join using Phone:

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Global call-in numbers

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Upcoming Seminars


  • Wednesday, March 16th (10 am – 11 am): “Entry and Exit of Informal Firms and Development”, Brian McCaig and Nina Pavcnik
  • Wednesday, April 20th (10 am – 11 am): “Size-dependent Tax Enforcement and Compliance: Global evidence and aggregate implications”,Pierre Bachas, Roberto N. Fatal-Jaef and Anders Jensen
  • Wednesday, May 18th (10 am – 11 am): “Procurement in Focus: Rules, Discretion, and Emergencies – A New eBook”, Erica Bosio


For other information, please contact