Over 31 Million Americans Engaged in Early Stage Entrepreneurial Activity

Entrepreneurial Activity

Over 31 Million Americans Engaged in Early Stage Entrepreneurial Activity

The United States exhibits among the highest rates of early stage entrepreneurial activity in the developed world (15.6%).

In addition, a great majority of entrepreneurs in the United States were motivated by opportunity in 2018. These are among the findings of the 2018/2019 U.S. Global Entrepreneurship Monitor Report, produced by Babson College.

“Entrepreneurship can fill employment gaps in the economy and enable people to pursue the career they desire,” said GEM U.S. Team Leader and Babson College Professor Julian Lange. “It is therefore imperative to equip people with the ability to pursue entrepreneurial opportunities and start businesses when they need or choose to do so.”

Key Findings:

  • Since 2015, there has been a steady rise in the rate of both men’s and women’s entrepreneurship in the United States. The year 2018 marked an all-time high with early stage entrepreneurial activity rates of 17.7% for men and 13.6% for women, with the gender gap between men and women narrowing to 4.1%.
  • GEM data indicated that a great majority of entrepreneurs were motivated by opportunity in 2018. In 2018, the perception of opportunities reached a new high, with 74% of men perceiving opportunities and 66% of women.
  • In light of GEM’s finding that 63% of Americans believe entrepreneurship is a good career choice and the low unemployment rate during this time, starting a business was viewed as a good choice rather than a necessity.
  • Entrepreneurial intentions are a precursor to entrepreneurial actions, and GEM data for 2018 demonstrates that the gender gap in entrepreneurial intentions is narrowing. The difference between women’s and men’s intentions was only 1%, which is the smallest gap since 2002.
  • Trends over the past years suggest that entrepreneurs in the United States are increasingly exploiting technological advances—away from traditional wholesale/retail toward entrepreneurial opportunities with potentially lower costs and greater upside in the knowledge and service spaces.
  • Entrepreneurship can provide career options for people of all ethnicities, ages, gender, and other characteristics. The 2018/2019 U.S. GEM Report found that African/African Americans start businesses at a higher rate than the White/Caucasian and Hispanic/Latino ethnicities, and entrepreneurial activity was found to be strong across the entire age spectrum of the 18-74 adult population.

To view the full report, click here.

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