With a national unemployment rate still above 8 percent, companies of all sizes that are struggling and gas prices continuing to rise, there are plenty of reasons to feel less than optimistic these days.
But in the midst of all that comes news from Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation that offers a ray of sunshine on this first day of spring.
Specifically, the organization reports that although entrepreneurship dipped in the past year, levels still remained relatively stable and some demographic groups posted an increase in startup activity.
Entrepreneurship is alive and well in the wake of the Great Recession, although
the rate of new business creation dipped during 2011 and startup founders
remained more likely to fly solo than employ others. That’s the big takeaway
from the “Kauffman Index of Entrepreneurial Activity,” a leading indicator of
new business creation in the United States published annually and released today
by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.
The 2011 Index shows a 5.9 percent drop from 2010 with approximately 543,000
new businesses created each month during the year, or 0.32 percent of American
adults per month in 2011. This remains among the highest levels of
entrepreneurship over the past 16 years. The quarterly employer firm rate also
remained essentially flat from 2010 to 2011 at 0.11 percent.
With regard to age, Kauffman discovered that entrepreneurial endeavors increased most in the 45- to 54-year-old group, posting a modest rise (but a rise nevertheless) from 0.35 percent in 2010 to 0.37 percent in 2011.
Although the findings, which were released today, don’t demonstrate any blazing signs of growth and one trend appears to be stagnant job growth, the encouraging news here is that the seeds for future growth are beginning to sprout. More seasons will be required before a bountiful entrepreneurial harvest is realized, but signs of improvement are emerging.
For more on the study, visit: http://www.kauffman.org/newsroom/new-business-startups-declined-in-2011-annual-kauffman-study-shows.aspx