Handbook of Microcredit in Europe
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Handbook of Microcredit in Europe

Social Inclusion through Microenterprise Development

Edited by Bárbara Jayo Carboni, Maricruz Lacalle Calderón, Silvia Rico Garrido, Karl Dayson and Jill Kickul

This timely Handbook offers a unique opportunity to consider the performance and national context of microcredit initiatives within the European Union.
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Chapter 5: Microcredit in Denmark

Tuija Wallgren and Mohammad Naveed Awan


Tuija Wallgren and Mohammad Naveed Awan Denmark has a strong economy, with a GDP per capita among the ten highest in the world (Eurostat, 2007). Moreover, the Danish economy has experienced an economic upturn, with growth rates above 3 per cent during the previous years. The National Bank is predicting slower growth for the next few years, estimating growth rates between 1.3 and 2.3 per cent per year. The main reason for these lower predictions is the overall decline in private consumption. Unemployment is at its lowest in 30 years, below 4 per cent of the labour force, and is expected to remain low, as demographic development will increase the demand.1 Inflation has been under 2 per cent, but is expected to increase to 2.25 per cent by the end of 2009, mainly due to increasing energy and consumer prices (Danmarks Nationalbank, 2007). The Danish economy is characterized by small and medium-sized businesses. There are 283 000 active enterprises in Denmark, averaging one company for every ten Danes in the labour market; 92 per cent of the enterprises have fewer than ten employees (Statistics Denmark, 2007). Every year, there are between 14 000 and 18 000 start-ups in Denmark, which is on a level with the best performing entrepreneurial countries. Start-ups account for approximately 10 per cent of the total number of enterprises in the Danish economy (Regeringen, 2006). Measured by the number of people considering a start-up or already managing an earlystage business, approximately 5 per cent of the...

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