Entrepreneurial Statistics: Everything About Entrepreneurship In 2024

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Entrepreneurs are unique.

They are passionate about what they do and put in the hours to get it done. Successful entrepreneurs have the grit to stick to their goals and work hard until they achieve them.

But let’s be real:

The entrepreneurial journey is not without challenges. It comes with a unique set of risks and difficulties to overcome.

Your average entrepreneur goes through:

  • Mental battles
  • Communication struggles
  • Leadership obstacles, etc…

Especially if they start out on their own.

These entrepreneurial statistics will give you a full picture of the entrepreneur landscape and what it looks like today.

Entrepreneurial Statistics Overview

Global entrepreneurship has exploded in the last 15 years.

Entrepreneurship has almost become a popular trendy thing to pursue. This is due to many factors, including how easy it is to start your own business.

Worldwide Entrepreneurs

The opportunity to start a business around a passion is a big driver for entrepreneurs globally.

There are 582 million entrepreneurs worldwide.

Entrepreneurs in the world

The chance to improve or completely change a niche or industry with a unique perspective is what entrepreneurs jump at.

Entrepreneurs In The United States

There are more than 31 million entrepreneurs in the US alone. This represents:

  • 9.29% of the entire population
  • 18.86% of the whole US workforce

That’s a lot of entrepreneurs for a single country!

This is expected to grow significantly over the next 5 years.

Self-Employed Entrepreneurs

Working in a high-level corporate position is a dream of the past.

97% of self-employed professionals say they would never go back to “traditional” employment.

The lifestyle you can achieve as an entrepreneur is just too attractive, especially when you can be your own boss.

Corporate To Entrepreneurship

While entrepreneurs don’t ever want to go back to corporate work, most did experience work in the corporate world first.

In fact- 58% of entrepreneurs worked in a corporate job before starting their own business.

Starting A Business

In business, there are a few ways to get started:

  1. Buy a franchise (new or existing)
  2. Build a busisness from scratch (new)
  3. Buy an independent business (existing)

This year, we’ve witnessed a significant shift towards independent businesses taking center stage. Compared to the previous year, there has been a 4% increase in their representation.

In contrast, franchise businesses have experienced a corresponding 4% decrease in their year-over-year presence.

This independent trend becomes even more pronounced when we examine the spread of newly established businesses compared to last year.

Business Type Percentage (%)
New Independent Business 27%
Bought Independent Business 31%
New Franchise 32%
Bought Existing Franchise 10%

Among the respondents surveyed, 27% are newly established independent businesses—a notable rise from the 21% reported in the previous year.

Additionally, 31% of existing independent businesses were purchased.

In comparison, the proportion of new franchise locations stands at 32%, while only 10% represents the purchase of existing franchise locations.

Family Run Business

About ⅕ of entrepreneurs own or manage a business with their family members.

Family-run businesses are still a popular thing today. Many parents look to pass the business they built onto their kids and so forth.

What Pushes People To Become Entrepreneurs?

There are loads of reasons entrepreneurs start their own small businesses. It can be anything from a lifestyle choice to naturally just naturally into it.

Here are the top 3 reasons people become entrepreneurs today.

Becoming an entrepreneur

#1 – Being Their Own Boss

Who doesn’t love to be in charge?

55% of entrepreneurs say the biggest motivation for starting their own business was the idea of being their own boss.

Most entrepreneurs want to be the ones calling the shots when it comes to their work.

#2 – Pursue Their Passions

If you don’t love the work you do – quit.

Entrepreneurs get to choose what they do and that is a pretty big factor for a lot of entrepreneurs just starting out.

39% of entrepreneurs say that they became business owners because they wanted to pursue their passions.

#3 – Taking Advantage Of An Opportunity

In successful entrepreneurship – opportunity is everything.

25% of entrepreneurs say that they made the leap because the opportunity presented itself.

Having the guts to take hold of the right opportunities as they present themselves is an essential quality in an entrepreneur.

Other Reasons

Motives to becoming entrepreneur

Entrepreneurs are sometimes thrown into their businesses because of other circumstances outside of their control:

  • 25% of people become entrepreneurs to get away from the corporate world.
  • 11% started their own business after being laid off from their current job.

In the US there has been a significant increase of people who are unhappy about working in corporate America.

10% of entrepreneurs started their own businesses because they just weren’t ready to retire yet while 4% did it because they were inspired by life events.

As you can see there are so many reasons entrepreneurs start their businesses.

Here’s what you need to understand:

ALL entrepreneurs are driven by something important to them.

What Qualifications Do Entrepreneurs Have?

Who gets to be an entrepreneur?

In this next set of entrepreneurial statistics, you’ll see that anyone can become an entrepreneur.

I’ll let you in on a secret:

You don’t need an entrepreneurship degree from a fancy business school.

Degree Percentage (%)
No Degree – Only High School Education 30%
Bachelor’s Degree In Business 9%
Master Degree 18%
Doctorate 4%

High School & College Degrees

30% of entrepreneurs only have a high school degree. That means almost ⅓ of all entrepreneurs never pursued further education at college.

So, if college education wasn’t your thing, you are most certainly not alone in the entrepreneur world.

Masters Degree

Even fewer entrepreneurs went on to do their masters with only 18% of small business owners holding a master’s degree.

In the entrepreneurship world, higher education qualifications are becoming less and less valuable. Masters degrees are expensive and do not have a direct correlation to success.

Good experience, persistence and commitment are the real keys.

Doctorate (PhD)

Doctorate degrees are very rare amongst entrepreneurs. This is most likely due to the:

  • Expense
  • Time

…Required to obtain one vs the amount of value they actually offer an entrepreneur.

Just 4% of all entrepreneurs have a doctorate.

Business Degrees

It would make sense for those entrepreneurs who did get an undergraduate degree to choose business right?

That’s not the case.

Only 9% of entrepreneurs have a Bachelor’s Degree in Business.

What Are The Most Popular Professions For Entrepreneurs?

Entrepreneurs are known for starting businesses in almost any industry.

But these next statistics highlight which industries are the most popular.

Industry Percentage (%)
Retail 16%
Food & Restaurant 13%
Health, Beauty & Fitness Services 12%
Residence & Commercial Services 9%
Construction & Contracting 8%

What Are The Best Countries For Entrepreneurs?

It’s no secret that some countries are better at inspiring entrepreneurship than others.

Best countries to become entrepreneur

How do you measure entrepreneurship in different countries?

Through the Global Entrepreneurship Index (GEI). The GEI is an index that measures the overall health of entrepreneurship ecosystems in 137 countries.

Put simply – It ranks each country against each other and determines which countries are best for entrepreneurs.

Rank Country GEI
1 United States 83.6
2 Switzerland 80.4
3 Canada 79.2
4 United Kingdom 77.8
5 Australia 75.5
6 Denmark 74.3
7 Iceland 74.2
8 Ireland 73.7
9 Sweden 73.1
10 France 68.5

Each country receives a GEI score between 0 – 100. The higher the number represents a better country to be an entrepreneur in.

These are the 5 best countries for entrepreneurs ranked on the Global Entrepreneurship Index.

#1 – United States of America

The US has long been known for their continuous innovation and entrepreneurship.

It’s no surprise then that they hold the top spot. The US has a GEI of 83.6 making it the best country in the world for entrepreneurs.

#2 – Switzerland

Switzerland might not have been the most obvious number 2.

They have a GEI of 80.4 making it the second-best country in the world to be an entrepreneur.

Small business ownership in Switzerland has been growing at a rapid rate more recently.

They have a strong economy and excellent infrastructure that provides lots of opportunities for entrepreneurs.

#3 – Canada

With a GEI of 79.2 Canada comes in at third spot.

The Canadian government is very small business focussed and even offers an entrepreneurship visa as a pathway into the country for non-citizens.

That’s certainly one way to attract talented entrepreneurs from overseas.

#4 – The United Kingdom

We brits can make money out of anything.

The UK has a GEI of 77.8 which gives it a comfortable fourth position.

The UK has a very skilled workforce and favourable business laws which helps promote startups and innovation.

#5 – Australia

Australia has a GEI of 75.5.

The general Australian population is very skilled and past governments have provided very favourable small business regulations.

Australia also has a very strong economy for business owners to operate in.

How Do Entrepreneurs Finance Their Small Business?

Regardless of what business you start, you will need some capital to finance it.

Thankfully, the amount of technology available today means you can start businesses with a relatively small investment.

Here are some small business statistics on how they are generally financed.

Funding Percentage (%)
Cash & Savings 39%
Loans & Credit 24%
Retirement Plan 20%
Friends & Familly 10%
Crowdfunding 1%

#1 -Their Own Cash

cash39% of business owners use their own cash to start their small businesses. This is the most popular way for entrepreneurs to finance their new startups.

#2 – Loans & Credit

loans and credits24% of small business owners and entrepreneurs rely on business loans and credit. Most of these loans come from traditional banks, private small business lenders and/or family and friends.

#3 – Retirement Plan

Retirement moneyThe second most popular way for entrepreneurs to fund their new businesses is with saved retirement money. 20% of entrepreneurs use some or all of their retirement funds to start the business.

#4 – Friends & Family

friends and familly10% of entrepreneurs ask friends and family for startup capital. Friends and family are the go-to if you don’t have the money or require a bigger investment.

#5 -Crowdfunding

crowdfundingCrowdfunding sites like Kickstarter have been growing in popularity. But just 1% of entrepreneurs use crowdfunding as a way to generate initial startup capital for their business.

Crowdfunding is typically more successful for businesses that bring entirely new and innovative ideas to market.

How Do Entrepreneurs Finance Their Small Business?

What Are The Chances Of Success & Failure For Small Businesses?

Business can be risky.

Especially when you are just getting started. 2 out of 3 business owners said their first year in business was the most difficult.

Business chance of success/failure

So if you are planning to put it all on the line to start your own business, pay attention to these success and failure entrepreneurial statistics.

After 1 Year

80% of small businesses are still in operation after 1 year. That means that only 20% of small businesses fail within their first year.

Entrepreneur Statistics

The statistics look good for the average first-year small business owner.

After 5 Years

But what about after 5 years?

Only half (50%) of the small businesses are estimated to survive 5+ years.

Only half (50%) of the small businesses are estimated to survive 5+ years.

You can interpret this by saying the average business has a 1 in 2 chance of making it past the 5-year mark.

Historical Small Business Failure

The good news is that small businesses are far more likely to be successful today than they were 50 years ago.

Small Business failure has declined by over 30% since 1977.

With new technology and cost-efficient ways to do business today, you have a lot more tools and resources around you to help you succeed.

What Are The Main Reasons Why Small Businesses Fail?

Small business owners face a lot of challenges – particularly when they are just getting started.

Here are the 3 reasons most small businesses and entrepreneurs fail.

Why do small businesses fail

Reason #1 – No Market Need

Entrepreneurs are notorious for getting over-excited about their ideas.

Often too excited…

42% of small businesses fail because they didn’t have a market for their products or services. If there is no want for your idea from your target audience…

Simply: No one will buy.

It might seem too obvious to be true but this is the number 1 reason small businesses fail.

Market research can easily be an afterthought but it’s important to put it first and make sure people actually want what you are selling.

Reason #2 – Lack Of Funds

If Rome couldn’t be built in a day – businesses can’t either.

Most businesses don’t make money from day one and they can take months to years before they see any real profit.

That’s what makes getting enough funding and staying on top of your businesses finances so important.

29% of businesses fail because of the lack of funds.

This has been the main issue during covid-19.

Reason #3 – Employees Issues

23% of businesses fail because of the lack of chemistry and teamwork between employees. Hiring the right team members and setting up a business culture they can get behind is a great way to increase your success in business.

Otherwise, a bad team culture could lead to failure.

What Are The Biggest Challenges For Entrepreneurs?

One of the biggest things that entrepreneurs do is solve problems for their market & clients with the product or service they offer.

But when it comes to running the business itself, these are many challenges that entrepreneurs face.

Here are the top 6 biggest challenges of the year:

Challenge Percentage (%)
Inflation / Price Increases 23%
Recruiting / Retention 19%
Lack Of Capital / Cash Flow 16%
Marketing / Advertising 9%
Administrative Work 8%
Supply Chain Issues 7%

This year, inflation and price increases have surged to the forefront as a top challenge among small business owners, with 23% of respondents identifying it as their primary concern.

In contrast, recruitment and retention, which held the spotlight in the previous year, have now slipped to second place at 19%.

Meanwhile, the lack of capital and cash flow management continues to be a persistent worry for 16% of respondents.

Additionally, fewer than 10% percent of surveyed business owners cited challenges related to marketing/advertising (9%), administrative work (8%), and supply chain issues (7%).

What Do The Demographic Statistics Say About Entrepreneurs & Small Business Owners?

One of the great things about entrepreneurship is the diversity of business owners all over the world. Regardless of where you come from or how old you are, anyone can be an entrepreneur.

Age Breakdown Of New Entrepreneurs

Entrepreneurs seem to be getting younger and younger.

But that isn’t necessarily the case. Here are the entrepreneur statistics on age:

Age Started Business 2019/2020 (%)
18 to 24 16%
25 to 34 22%
35 to 44 22%
45 to 54 13%
55 to 64 13%
65 to 74 6%

This is an age breakdown on the percentage of Americans who started a business in 2019 and 2020.

The 18 to 24 age bracket is the third biggest for US entrepreneurs starting new businesses.

The most popular age to start a business in the US is between ages 25 to 44. A total of 44% of all businesses started in 2019/2020 were in this age group.

Interestingly enough – younger people are more likely to start a business from scratch while older people are more likely to buy an established business instead.

Just 6% of Americans who started a business in 2019/2020 were in the 65 to 74 age group.

Men In Entrepreneurship

In the US there are more male entrepreneurs than female entrepreneurs. For every 10 male entrepreneurs, there are just 7 female entrepreneurs.

Men vs Women in entrepreneurship

What’s more?

Studies show that middle-aged men who start businesses are most likely to be successful.

Of high-performing startups in the top 0.1% in terms of growth in the first five years, the average entrepreneur started their company when they were 45 years old.

Most business owners who are successful usually start their businesses later in life.

A 50-year-old male startup founder is 2.8 times more likely to have a successful startup than a 25-year-old male founder.

Simply: The more experience small business owners have before starting their businesses, the more likely they will be successful.

Women In Entrepreneurship

Women-owned businesses have been growing significantly over the last 10 years.

Globally there are 252 million women owned businesses and entrepreneurs today.

Women-owned businesses

As of 2019, there were 13 million women-owned businesses in the US alone. And over 5.5 million of those 13 million businesses are owned by women from minority groups…

…That’s almost 50%!

In the US African-American women make up 19% of the total women-owned businesses. Latinas own 15% and Asian-American women own 9%. Impressive!

Clearly, minority women in entrepreneurship in the US are not only growing but are also very successful.

16.6% of adult women under the age of 65 in the US started a new business in 2019. This is compared directly with 18.3% of men in the US within the same age group.

Female entrepreneurship is growing just as strongly as male entrepreneurship. The most popular industry for women-owned small businesses is retail.

The earnings gap between men and women entrepreneurs in the US is still significant. On average female entrepreneurs earn 28% less than male entrepreneurs.

Minorities In Entrepreneurship

Let’s take a look at some minority entrepreneurship statistics.

Currently, there are over 8 million minority-owned small businesses in the United States:

  • 64% of all entrepreneurs in the US are white males and females.
  • 14% of entrepreneurs are African Americans.
  • 8% of entrepreneurs are Latino or Hispanics.

Asian-American entrepreneurs run about 10% of all US businesses.

Minorities In Entrepreneurship

The US entrepreneurship landscape is diverse with men and women from many different backgrounds starting and running successful businesses. No wonder it’s the #1 country for people to be entrepreneurs!

Wrapping It Up

If there is one thing that all these entrepreneurship statistics tell you it’s that…

Anyone can do it!

Regardless of your background, upbringing and current circumstances – You can do it. But that doesn’t mean it will be an easy road to success. You will have to deal with:

  • Mistakes
  • Obstacles
  • Failures
  • Challenges
  • Difficulties

Every entrepreneur faces problems that force them to adapt.

But that’s what makes a great entrepreneur. They work through each situation, solve the problems as they come and get back up again.

Want more statistics posts? Take a look at these blogs:

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