29 Million Adults are Starting or Running a New Business in the U.S. – Who are They?

Millions of businesses are started every year in the U.S. – who are the entrepreneurs behind these businesses?

29 Million Adults Were Starting or Running New Businesses in U.S. in 2011

In the U.S. 29 million adults (12.3% of people aged 18-64) were starting or running new businesses in 2011. Of this 29 million, the majority fall within the 25-54 age range (e.g. approximately 10% of all adults in the 25-44 age range, and 8% in the 45-54 age range, were engaged in starting a business in 2011). But, the youth (18-24 years of age) and late career (55-64 years of age) age groups are also fairly represented by individuals who get bit by the entrepreneurship bug, with approximately 6% of adults in those age groups being engaged in starting a business in 2011. Additionally, 20% of U.S. adults aged 25-34, and more than 15% of adults aged 18-24 and 35-54, indicated that they intended to start a business according to the GEM 2011 survey results.

There Are 8 Women Entrepreneurs for Every 10 Men Entrepreneurs in the U.S.

Around the world there are approximately six women participating in entrepreneurship for every 10 men. The ratio a women entrepreneurs, compared to men, is higher in the U.S. than the world average, with eight women participating in entrepreneurship for every 10 men. However, based upon the findings of the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM)*, in the United States, when age is factored in, women aged 45-54 are nearly equal to men in their participation in early-stage entrepreneurial activity, and exceed men in the 55-64 age range.

The overall U.S. ratio, while higher than the world average, is still lower than several other countries, specifically Switzerland, Guatemala and Brazil, where women and men are equal in their rate of participation in entrepreneurial activities. Women exceed men in entrepreneurial participation in Singapore and Thailand.

Source: Babson College Global Entrepreneurship Monitor United States Report 2011

*The Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) conducts annual surveys of the adult population in economies around the world. Through these surveys, which have been conducted since 1999, the GEM seeks to measure global entrepreneurship through indicators, such as societal attitudes toward entrepreneurship, participation in multiple phases of the entrepreneurship process, and profile and impact indicators. Total Early-Stage Entrepreneurial Activity (TEA), which comprises nascent entrepreneurs in the process of starting a business as well as new business owners, is the key measure used by the GEM.

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