Business articles love to report on the doom and gloom, be it the roiling stock market, a corporate bankruptcy or alarming statistics about the failure rates of startups. But the new year is a wonderful time to highlight the bright spots of our economy, particular our small business economy.
By and large, the founder community keeps growing and for good reasons. The Chamber of Commerce and Small Business Association estimates that there are about 32.5 million small businesses in the United States as of 2022, up from 31 million in 2020. Let’s look at the factors supporting this growth.
- A majority of entrepreneurs started a business because they were driven by opportunity and passion, rather than necessity. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Annual Business Survey, “56 percent felt starting a business was the best avenue for their ideas to create goods and services.”
- While opportunity was the top factor, many workers were motivated by the desire to create income on their own terms. In other words, entrepreneurship has become a safe haven for those who are fed up with corporate life. A 2022 Report by Guidant Financial found “they were ready to be their own boss (60.87%) and overall dissatisfaction with corporate America (47.64%).”
- For women, business ownership is about more than money, but a path to being her own boss and have more autonomy over her work schedule. The same Census survey found that “the top reason for becoming an owner was work and family balance. In total, 59 percent of women felt that this was a very important reason to own their own business.”
- Business ownership is a great avenue for employment for our nation’s heroes. The SBA Advocacy office reports they Veterans own almost two million businesses and employ over five million Americans. They thrive in industries like professional services, construction, retail and healthcare.
- For immigrants, entrepreneurship is a favorable path to achieving the American dream, as they tend to own businesses at higher rates compared to individuals born in the United States. According to the Annual Business Survey, “immigrant owners consisted of roughly 18 percent of business owners with employees in 2018.”
- For some, starting a business defines a new life chapter, and a sign that it’s never too late to reinvent oneself. The Guidant report also found that more than 20% of those surveyed said they started their business because they were “not ready to retire.”
- Entrepreneurship is an excellent way to have a rewarding career, without having to pursue higher education. According to another study by Guidant Financial, only 30% of entrepreneurs have a high school degree.
- If you dream of major wealth, then it’s time to start a business. According to Forbes, about 90% of the world’s billionaires are self-made entrepreneurs.
- But the reasons to become a founder are not just about money, but quality of life and a sense of owning your own destiny. About 29% of entrepreneurs say they chose this path because they wanted to be their own boss.
- Despite the day-to-day challenges and lingering effects of the pandemic on small businesses, entrepreneurs tend to be happier than the average American. Guidant found that a whopping 75% of those surveyed categorized themselves as either somewhat happy or very happy, which gives any aspiring entrepreneur a reason to smile.
There are so many reasons to delve into the world of entrepreneurship. Starting your own business could be the most educational experience of your lifetime. It gives you hands-on training, introduces you to new and interesting people, and in a way can become a personally enlightening journey about your own leadership capabilities. And with the right skills, support and mindset, you can beat the odds and thrive as the founder of your own company.