Over the last 10 years, entrepreneurship has become a growing trend with growing importance within the global marketplace. In fact, according to the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM), about 330 million people, or 14% of the adults in the 35 countries surveyed, are involved in forming new businesses.
Whether it is the desire to be your own boss, pursue your own ideas or the hope of financial rewards, people are changing their outlook on how to do business. Within the scope of entrepreneurship there are four demographics that are increasing faster than ever.
In 2002, the most recent year the U.S. Census Bureau collected business ownership data, there were 6.5 million women-owned businesses. That number is up 20% from 1997. Traditionally, women-owned businesses were most prevalent in the health care and professional services industries. But surprisingly, the fastest growing areas of women-owned businesses are construction (up 30%), agricultural services (up 24%) and transportation (up 20%).
The number of minority-owned businesses has also risen sharply over this same period. Growth in African-American owned businesses is up 45% from 1997 to 2002. Both Asian-owned businesses and Native American-owned businesses have also increased, at a rate of 24%.
Although the U.S. Census Bureau does not specifically collect data on senior-owned businesses, there is strong evidence to suggest more seniors are getting involved in entrepreneurship. This dramatic increase can be attributed to corporate downsizing, growing worries that seniors are going to need more income to cover future health care expenses, and an increasing desire for older workers to obtain personal fulfillment in their lives after retirement.
Perhaps the fastest growing demographic of entrepreneurship is young people. According to a Gallup study, 7 out of 10 high school students want to start their own companies. Interest in entrepreneurship is also growing on college campuses. Presently there are 1992 two and four-year colleges that offer at least one course in entrepreneurship. This number is up from just 300 colleges in 1985.
No matter who is starting all these new businesses, entrepreneurship is undoubtedly a growing trend throughout the world. As the economy is struggling and people are getting laid-off, more and more people are realizing the benefits of entrepreneurship. The desire to become a corporate eight to fiver is losing steam, when are you going to jump on board?