20 Million Bootstrappers

Would you like numbers on entrepreneurship? I need to review them periodically. The Small Business Administration says there are about 26 million businesses in the US, of which only six million are employers. About 20 million businesses are self-employed individuals. About 700,000 new businesses start each year, and 550,000 close.

The vast majority (97%) of US businesses have fewer than 20 employees. They account for half of the non-farm GDP and 60-80% of the jobs in this country.

Thanks to Jeff Cornwall of  the Entrepreneurial Mind for catching info from the National Dialog on Entrepreneurship in its newsletter released today. More than 20 million Americans are self employed. Something like 2,400 go out on their own every day.

That number helps fill out the picture on entrepreneurship and starting up new businesses. Of those 20 million self-employed people, many of them are running sideline businesses and tax-related-sort-of-businesses. Many of them are professionals, like doctors, lawyers, accountants, and architects, who like to pretend they’re not really in business.  The rest are mainly entrepreneurs, a lot of small business, and a lot of startups.

The chart here is from Anita Campbell’s Small Business Trends. She has some additional granularity taken from the same US Census source numbers. Her take is the large and growing number of single-person businesses.

In an average year only 5,000 or so ventures get venture capital. Wells Fargo and Gallup reported last year that the average small business owner uses an average of $10,000 to start his or her business. 

— Tim

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