Global Entrepreneurship Study

According to the just-released 2004 Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, 73 million people worldwide are entrepreneurs. That equates to roughly 9.3% adults, or one in eleven people, out of a total workforce of 784 million.

Many of the findings are similar to past reports, such as:

  • Most entrepreneurs (65%) are opportunity-driven, versus 35% who start a business out of necessity due to lack of jobs. Opportunity-driven entrepreneurs are more prevalent in high-income countries like the United States, Canada, Australia, United Kingdom, Ireland, etc.
  • Venture capital funding for new businesses is quite rare, with 99.9% of nascent businesses never receiving VC money or angel funding. We’ve talked about this topic many times before here on Small Business Trends. This year’s report contains more detail than ever on the sources of funding. It further substantiates this important point: hunting for venture capital is a waste of time.

There were also some surprising points:

  • The average capital needed to start a business is US$53,673. At first glance this number seemed high to me, but then this money would not be distributed all at once. Instead the money is likely to be doled out over time. Viewed in that light it seems realistic.
  • Many entrepreneurs are already employed as they develop their businesses. My friend Annie, who is from Shanghai, tells me the Chinese have a name for this: “riding in the big boat while carrying the little boat on your back.” Apparently this kind of new-business subsidy goes on far more than I would have guessed, with 91% of those in middle-income countries having jobs. In high-income countries the figure is 81% and in low-income countries it is 77%.

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Anita Campbell Anita Campbell is the Founder, CEO and Publisher of Small Business Trends and has been following trends in small businesses since 2003. She is the owner of BizSugar, a social media site for small businesses.

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