What Are Current Entrepreneurship Facts, Stats, and Industry Trends?

Updated:
May 11, 2020

From income to success rates, there are many myths surrounding entrepreneurs. To help you separate fact from fiction, here is a list of entrepreneurship facts and statistics.


What is an entrepreneur?

  • An entrepreneur is a person who organizes and operates a business or businesses. They often take on greater than normal financial risks to do so. (Lexico by Oxford)


How many entrepreneurs are there in the world?

  • There are 582 million entrepreneurs around the world, as of 2017. (The Hill)


How many entrepreneurs are there in the U.S.?

  • An average of 659,000 new businesses are started each year in the United States, from 1994 to 2019. (Bureau of Labor and Statistics)
  • There are 30.7 million small businesses in the United States, as of 2019. (Small Business Administration)
  • 18.7% of Americans own a small business when comparing the labor force to total small businesses, as of 2020. (Small Business Administration)


How many self-employed people are there in the U.S.?

  • There are 24 million self-employed people in the United States, as of 2019. (Freshbooks)
  • There are 15 million full-time self-employed people in the United States, as of 2019. (Freshbooks)
  • The average (mean) self-employed owner age is 41, as of 2019. The average age when they began is 34, as of 2019. (Freshbooks)


What is the entrepreneur success rate? Failure rate? And why do businesses fail?

  • 42% of businesses fail because there is no market need, as of 2019. (CB Insights)
  • 29% of businesses fail because they run out of cash, 23% don’t have the right team in place, and 17% fail because they don’t have a strong enough business model, as of 2019. (CB Insights)
  • The first year business failure rate is an average of 21.3% since 1994. (Bureau of Labor and Statistics)
  • The fifth year business failure rate is an average of 51.2% since 1994. (Bureau of Labor and Statistics)


Why do entrepreneurs start a business?

  • 55% of entrepreneurs wanted to start a business to be their own boss, as of 2020. (Guidant Financial)
  • 39% of entrepreneurs wanted to start a business to pursue their passion, as of 2020. (Guidant Financial)
  • 25% of entrepreneurs wanted to start a business to escape corporate America, as of 2020. (Guidant Financial)
  • 25% of entrepreneurs wanted to start a business because they had the opportunity to do so, as of 2020. (Guidant Financial)
  • 11% of entrepreneurs wanted to start a business because they were laid off, as of 2020. (Guidant Financial)


Who is most likely to become an entrepreneur?

By Gender

  • 73% of small business owners are males, as of 2020. (Guidant Financial)
  • 27% of small business owners are females, as of 2020. This is 4% higher than 2019. (Guidant Financial)


By Age

  • 85% of small business owners are between 39 and 73, as of 2020. (Guidant Financial)
  • 44% of small business owners are Gen Xers (39 to 54 years old), as of 2020. (Guidant Financial)
  • 41% of small business owners are Baby Boomers (55 to 73 years old), as of 2020. (Guidant Financial)
  • 12% of small business owners are Millennials (23 to 38 years old), as of 2020. (Guidant Financial)
  • 2% of small business owners are Silent Gen (74 years old and older), as of 2020. (Guidant Financial)


By Race

  • 10.6% of small business owners are Hispanic, as of 2013. (Kauffman)
  • 7% of small business owners are Black, as of 2013. (Kauffman)
  • 4.3% of small business owners are Asian, as of 2013. (Kauffman)


By Education

  • 30% of small business owners have a high school diploma, GED, or did not finish high school as of 2020. (Guidant Financial)
  • 17% of small business owners have a bachelor’s degree, as of 2020. (Guidant Financial)
  • Only 4% of small business owners have a doctoral degree, as of 2020. (Guidant Financial)


How do entrepreneurs finance their business?

  • 37% of small businesses owners fund their business with their own cash, as of 2020. (Guidant Financial)
  • 10% of small businesses owners fund their business through friends and family, as of 2020. (Guidant Financial)
  • 27% of small businesses owners fund their business with a loan or line of credit, as of 2020. (Guidant Financial)


Other noteworthy entrepreneurship facts

  • 62% of U.S. billionaires are self-made, as of 2019. (Wealth-X)
  • Entrepreneurs work 52 hours a week, on average. 39% of entrepreneurs work 60 hours per week or more, as of 2005. (Gallup)


Sources

  1. CB Insights
  2. Bureau of Labor and Statistics
  3. FreshBooks
  4. Gallup
  5. Guidant Financial
  6. The Hill
  7. Kauffman
  8. Lexico by Oxford
  9. Small Business Administration
  10. SBE
  11. Wealth-X

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