Not-so-old news: US experiencing highest level of entrepreneurship in more than a decade

by Joey deVilla on March 20, 2014

The infographic below is just about a year old, but I missed it the first time around, and its information is still relevant. Its big point: the United States is experiencing the highest level of entrepreneurship in more than a decade:

who-are-us-entrepreneurs

Click the infographic to see it at full size.

gem 2012 us reportThe content of the infographic is a distillation of the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor’s (GEM) 2012 US Report, which says the US is seeing the highest level of entrepreneurship since 1999, when GEM first started producing these reports.

Having just joined an established entrepreneurial company and working from a home office in Florida, some observations in the report were of great interest to me. See if you can spot them:

  • Entrepreneurial activity hit 13% in 2012, the highest rate since GEM began recording it in 1999.
  • In 2012, more than 43% of Americans believed that there were good opportunities for entrepreneurship around them. In 2011, only about 23% believed this. Also, more than 56% of Americans believed that they had the capabilities to start a business.
  • US entrepreneurs participate in the business services sector to a higher degree than those in other economies, but the majority of entrepreneurs nonetheless operate in the consumer sector.
  • More than two-thirds of US entrepreneurs start at home, and 59% of established business owners continue to operate out of a home office.
  • More than one-fifth of American entrepreneurs surveyed employ a part-time employee, a family member, or an unpaid or volunteer person.
  • 30% of US entrepreneurs outsource some of their business activities.
  • In 2012, 37% of US entrepreneurs said they would add 5 or more employees in the next 5 years.
  • The median level of funding that American entrepreneurial businesses needed to start was US$15,000, with 82% of it coming from personal or “friends, family, and fools” sources.
  • US women continued to report lower levels of entrepreneurship — 7 women entrepreneurs for every 10 men — citing lower levels of intentions, less positive attitudes, and lower growth aspirations. The greatest disparities between men and women entrepreneurs were surprisingly not in the older age groups, but the younger ones. Women entrepreneurs were more likely to start with less funding (mostly from personal and family sources), less likely than men to be profitable at the established business stage, and nearly twice as likely to cite inadequate funding as the reason they stopped their businesses.
  • Younger entrepreneurs had the highest intentions; older entrepreneurs had the highest established business ownership.
  • First-generation immigrants had more positive attitudes towards entrepreneurship and were more likely to start or run a new business. 16% of 1st-gen immigrants did so, while 9% of 2nd-gen did (the rate for non-immigrants is 13%). “First-generation immigrant entrepreneurs,” says the report, “were highly opportunity-driven, educated and wealthy.”
  • The most entrepreneurial states in 2012 were Florida and Texas. The report says “Entrepreneurs in Florida displayed higher capability perceptions and risk taking; they were more often male, necessity-motivated, and low income, and had above-average levels of internationalization…Texas reported high opportunity perceptions and high entrepreneurship levels among women and youth.”

florida - america's entreprenurial state

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