Across the planet, there are at least 286 million individuals engaged in start-ups. That's a lot of entrepreneurs! According to the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, 2002 Report, entrepreneurs constitute about 12% of the working-age population in the 37 countries covered by the study. Other results: The countries with the highest numbers of entrepreneurs are the developing Asian countries (Thailand, India, China and Korea). Next are Latin American countries (Argentina, Chile, Brazil, Mexico). In the middle came the former British Empire countries (Australia, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa, U.S.). Europe followed next, then Central Europe. The lowest level of entrepreneurial activity was reported in developed Asian nations (Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore). Two thirds of entrepreneurs chose start-ups because they perceived an opportunity worth pursuing. The other one third started businesses out of necessity, because they lacked job options. Most new firms receive initial support from informal investments from family, friends, business associates, and other personal contacts. An extremely small proportion... 1 in 10,000, receive support from venture capital firms. The Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) research program is an annual assessment of the national level of entrepreneurial activity. It is sponsored by London Business School, Babson College and the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. Acknowledgement goes to Torsten over at TJ's Technology, Venture Capital and Entrepreneurship weblog, for alerting me to this comprehensive study.