Entrepreneurship in the United States is on the rise -- with the figures to back it up. That's according to the latest U. S. Census numbers and estimates by the SBA's Office of Advocacy. Using the latest available figures (from 2003), Raymond Keating, Chief Economist for the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council, writes that 2003 saw some of the largest increases in entrepreneurship in recent years: New employer firm births jumped 7.5% from 2002 - 2003, to 612,296 (an employer firm is a small business that employs employees) The total number of employer firms increased 1.2%, the largest increase since 1996. The total number of employer firms as of 2003 stands at 5,767,127. The total number of non-employer firms increased 5.7%, again the largest increase in recent years. Non-employer firms mean microbusinesses with no employees or the self-employed. If you really want to see the growth, however, go over to Keating's article where he has laid out the annual entrepreneurship figures for each of the above three measures. It helps to see the growth in total numbers, year over year. The reason for this growth, according to Keating? "We should not be too surprised that 2003 turned out to be quite robust for entrepreneurship, as that was the year that Congress passed and the President signed into law a pro-entrepreneur, pro-investment tax relief package, and economic growth accelerated markedly." I would add this reason: right now is a great time to be an entrepreneur, because our society and culture currently celebrate our status as entrepreneurs. We entrepreneurs have more free assistance and official support than ever -- from the Federal government all the way to private foundations, and even to companies that sell to us. We entrepreneurs are recognized as being engaged in worthwhile endeavors in speeches by the President of the United States. It even has become trendy to be an entrepreneur, with everyone from Donald Trump to Martha Stewart hitching their wagons to the tag "entrepreneur." America has been built on the hard work of entrepreneurs, but we are supported more than ever before, it seems, thanks to the hard work of many advocates. Tax breaks are one of many measures of that. What better time, what better place? Tags: entrepreneur; entrepreneurship.