The strategic management literature on entrepreneurship supports the notion of a sustainable number of firms implying a balance between available profit opportunities and the number of firms trying to exploit them. Likewise, the economics literature claims that a sustainable number of firms not only exists, but acts as a point of gravity in equilibrium based models of industry. Both schools speculate about the behaviour of business start-ups and deaths when the industry is in disequilibrium. Remarkably, there is little empirical analysis of these processes. This paper aims to rectify this shortcoming.