The Inc. Entrepreneurship Index takes the pulse of American entrepreneurship by sourcing traditional government data covering 60,000 households every month and big data from businesses, including real-time payroll records for more than 350,000 businesses courtesy of Paychex and capital data from Biz2Credit covering thousands of companies every quarter.

The index uses three key indicators to track the health of American small-business entrepreneurship on a quarterly basis:

  • Entrepreneurship rate: the percentage of U.S. adults who own their own businesses, regardless of size
  • Access to capital: the percentage of loan applications by businesses that get approved, from sources including big banks, credit unions, and alternative lenders (Powered by Biz2Credit)
  • Small-business job growth: the percentage growth of average employment in existing small businesses (Powered by Paychex)

In addition to the core metrics above, Inc.'s ongoing coverage will include other metrics for context, including wage growth, labor market tightness, and sources of capital.

The index will be updated and changed as more and better sources of data become available.

Founded in 2007, Biz2Credit matches entrepreneurs with credit solutions in a safe and price-transparent environment. With more than $1 billion in funding and over 150,000 small- and medium-size- business users in the U.S., it is a leading online small-business lending platform. Its patented technology works for more than 100 major banks in the U.S., credit rating agencies like Dun & Bradstreet, and major SMB service providers including Dell. Learn more about Biz2Credit by visiting

Paychex is a preeminent provider of human capital management solutions for payroll, HR, retirement, and insurance services. Backed by 45 years of industry expertise, Paychex serves approximately 605,000 payroll clients across more than 100 locations, paying one out of every 12 American private sector employees. Learn more about Paychex by visiting, and stay connected on Twitter and LinkedIn.


Inc. Data Scientist and Contributing Editor Arnobio Morelix would like to thank Inara Sunan Tareque for her research analysis and contributions in the creation of the metrics presented here and also the researchers who provided advice and review around this work: Andrew Reamer (George Washington University), Carl Bialik (Yelp), Dane Stangler (Startup Genome and Progressive Policy Institute), E.J. Reedy (University of Chicago), Javier Miranda (Census Bureau), John Lettieri (Economic Innovation Group), Kenan Fikri (Economic Innovation Group), and Michael Hendrix (Manhattan Institute).