American Entrepreneurial Economy

Jeff Cornwall: “The Kauffman Foundation has released its latest report on entrepreneurship that is part of its Global Entrepreneurship Monitoring project. United States Global Entrepreneurship Monitor 2003 Report, by Maria Minitti and William D. Bygrave, offers more evidence of the robust nature of our entrepreneurial economic recovery. ‘Entrepreneurship in the United States continues to thrive at very high levels and seems to be moving ahead of the general economic recovery of the country.’ The full report is available on-line (44 page pdf file).”

Some highlights:

Almost one out of every eight Americans (11.9%) is engaged in entrepreneurial activity. This is one of the highest rates in the world and the highest rate of the largest, most developed economies. Our culture remains the strongest force driving entrepreneurial activity that differentiates us from other nations studied. America outranks the rest of the world in all of the key entrepreneurial indexes.

One myth that the cynics like to perpetuate is that these are mostly people out of work who cannot find a job. This study found that 76% of new start-ups were created to pursue opportunities their founders saw in the market, while only 24% were folks looking to create some income between jobs, typically as self-employed consultants.

Another myth is that these businesses do not really create jobs. This study found that 70% of new start-ups already employ at least one person, and 80% plan to hire at least one more employee in the next year, and 20% plan to add at least 19 new employees in the next few years.

Who are these American entrepreneurs? They tend to be young, as the study found the highest rate of entrepreneurship (17.3%) in 25-34 year olds. African Americans and Hispanics have the highest rates overall, and men are almost twice as likely to be new entrepreneurs as are women.

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