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  • Author: Friederike Welter x
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The Mittelstand: a Specific Entrepreneurial Profile of the Social Market Economy


Mittelstand companies are the backbone of the German economy: they constitute the vast majority of enterprises in Germany, contribute to employment, and are a pillar of the German apprenticeship system. The specific ownership–management structure of the Mittelstand used to go hand in hand with social, intergenerational, and regional responsibility. However, today’s very small and young entrepreneurs do not perceive themselves as Mittelstand; many entrepreneurs do not intend to employ others, and structural changes in the economy have also resulted in fundamental changes of the Mittelstand. This paper explores the characteristics of the Mittelstand and its future, asking whether Mittelstand will continue to play a fundamental role in the social market economy in Germany.

Open access
Open access