My favorite academic/entrepreneur, Jeff Cornwall, has posted about a wonderful, 44-page document on the American Entrepreneurial Economy. I’ve posted his highlights below — ordinarily I’d pick a few but they were all just so damned great… I recommend you visit his blog ASAP (here’s the link: Data on the American Entrepreneurial Economy) for more info and to download the report.
-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.
-Where is the money coming from to finance these ventures? Everywhere! The study estimated that 5% of the adult American population had invested in someone else’s start-up business. In contrast, only 2500 businesses received venture capital funding, and very few of these were start-ups.