Global Entrepreneurship Monitor
Kelley, Ali, et al.
First published March 2013
During the summer of 2011, the United States participated in the 13th annual cycle of the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) research. Across the globe, 54 economies participated in the survey, spanning diverse geographies and a range of development levels. In the United States over 5,800 adults between the ages of 18 and 99 were interviewed.
An Estimated 29 Million Adults Starting and Running New Businesses in the United States
The results suggest that entrepreneurship in the United States experienced a turnaround in 2011, after two years of decline during the economic downturn. The survey revealed that 12.3% of working age adults (18–64 years of age) were starting or running new businesses during 2011, an estimated 29 million people. This represents an over 60% jump in the U.S. entrepreneurship rate from 2010. A confident and ambitious group, nearly 40% of these entrepreneurs anticipate adding five or more employees over the next five years.
Established business ownership also increased in 2011, involving 9.1% of the working age population in the United States. GEM additionally assessed entrepreneurship among employees, estimating that 5.3% of working age adults were starting and running new businesses for their employers. Together, many Americans are involved in multiple phases of entrepreneurial activity across different contexts.