America: Home of the Brave (Entrepreneurs)
When it comes to entrepreneurship, fear is not a factor in the U.S.
A study released today from the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor and Babson College revealed that most Americans are not plagued by the fears and insecurities that prevent people in other countries from starting a business.
According to the report, just less than a third of Americans will not start a business out of a fear of failure. The study also found that 55% of Americans felt they were capable of starting their own business.
Compared with the 53 other global economies--including many in Western Europe and Asia--surveyed for the study, these figures made U.S. entrepreneurs one of the least fearful among developed nations (Slovenia and Switzerland had a similarly low fear rate). For the report, the GEM surveyed working adults ages 18 to 64.
"It does help that we have a pretty big and diverse market," said Donna Kelley, the report's primary author. "It helps in some way that people are very knowledgeable about their whole market, and the conditions of starting a business."
Kelley also pointed out that larger American corporations hold more entrepreneurial opportunities than their global counterparts. With the flexibility and resources of a larger company, people with entrepreneurial aspirations will feel more confident in their ability to launch a business idea, she said.
This latest annual study from the GEM, which reflects the entrepreneurial trends of 2011, surveyed 54 economies across the world. Within the United States, more than 5,800 adults were interviewed.
The study discovered some other statistics on small-business owners and entrepreneurs, including:
- In 2011, there were eight female entrepreneurs for every 10 male entrepreneurs, indicating that the gender gap among business owners is narrowing.
- 39% of the small-business owners surveyed said they plan to hire more than five employees over the next half-decade.
- The number of global business owners jumped 17 percentage points from 2010 to 2011.
- Most entrepreneurs make their revenue from domestic sales. Only 13% of the surveyed American entrepreneurs said that 25% or more of their sales came from global business deals.
"There are positive signs, but others still see that the tough times are languishing,” Kelley said. “The upside is that some people are seeing that it’s time to jump in."