Starting your own business seems to be more popular than ever. The entrepreneurial spirit is helping to fuel the American economy, creating jobs and new opportunities, developing a healthy lending environment for online lenders and banks alike, and generally fueling a positive attitude about the possibilities of business ownership and finding entrepreneurial success.
Fifty-one percent of Americans of working age see good opportunity for launching a business--and not out of job necessity, but out of passion, innovation and desire for self-ownership, according to the most recent Global Entrepreneurship Monitor. The ongoing study, compiled cooperatively by Babson College near Boston, and London Business School in the UK, began in 1999 with the aim to discover why some countries are more entrepreneurial than others.
GEMs research includes 16 years of interviews and data collected from business owners, entrepreneurs, specialists, academic and research institutions and funding institutions in over 100 countries.
U.S. Millennials Near the Top
The 2014 data, compiled from 73 economies with more than 200,000 respondents across the world, shows that young people, ages 25-34, are starting or running businesses at an increasing rate, 18 percent in 2014 percent versus 15 percent in 2013.
GEM has reported the following trends among U.S. entrepreneurs and business opportunities:
- entrepreneurship is viewed positively in the U.S.
- it thrives where there are universities, good transportation and communication
- it thrives in a population that includes young people
- entrepreneurship is found where there are clusters of industrial activity
- where the quality of life (schools, recreation, climate) are considered good
- The average U.S. entrepreneur is college educated, closer to mid-career in age, from a higher-income household, male, opportunity motivated, operating in knowledge-intensive sector
- 36.7 percent of U.S. entrepreneurs said their product or service were innovative (2014)
- 44.8 percent expected to grow their business by six or more employees in the next five years
- U.S. entrepreneurs are generally less internationally minded, with only 14.5 percent having international customers
With a supportive environment for young business owners, opportunities for funding and raising capital for business ventures, and positive attitude among Millennials regarding entrepreneurship, GEM names the challenges to future entrepreneurs, mainly finding a foothold in the global marketplace and maintaining innovativeness in a global economy.
Are you looking to start or currently running your own business? What are your entrepreneurial challenges?