Entrepreneurism Series – Some Grounding Information Regarding Entrepreneurs
This week I thought it worthwhile to stir the interest of the broadest possible audience of potential entrepreneurs, by provide a little grounding in how pervasive entrepreneurism, the art and practice of being entrepreneurial, really is. This article covers some aspects that might be viewed as myths that relate to the types of people that engage in entrepreneurial activities. Please note that the following information is taken from a Kauffman Foundation recent article to be found at http://www.kauffman.org/uploadedFiles/KIEA_2012_report.pdf . The reader is advised that to grasp the whole subject importance and meaning it is necessary to read the entire survey report and the results contained therein. Here are some common misconceptions and myths associated with entrepreneurs and the practice of entrepreneurism.
Myth number (1) – Entrepreneurism is practiced by only a few types of people.
According to the Kauffman survey of entrepreneurs from 1996-2011, ethnicity continues to play a role in the entrepreneurial community. The report indicates the race of the business owner and shows a strong growth in the contribution by Hispanic entrepreneurs over all other groups. The rise in new businesses contributed by Hispanic owners is something to watch in the upcoming years is it will impact the shape of the business landscape.
Myth number (2) – Immigration plays no role in entrepreneurism in the U.S.
The Kauffman survey indicates that over the 1996-2011 time period the percentage of immigrants as entrepreneurs has steadily increased in spite of the downturn in the U.S. economy. The trend continues even with changing patterns in immigration and policies related to those who seek to open businesses in the U.S.
Myth number (3) – Entrepreneurism is the favored domain of younger people.
Interestingly, there has been a steady shift in the patterns of entrepreneurship and the contribution from aging baby-boomers may be the reason as they move out corporate career worlds and in to the entrepreneurial worlds in some capacity related to starting and growing a business. The age group of 55-64 experienced the largest growth percent and clearly expressed a contribution to entrepreneurism. That trend may increase further as baby-boomers turn their knowledge and skills on other baby-boomers as a target audience for their businesses.
Myth number (4) – Higher Education is a pre-requisite for entrepreneurism.
While the most famous college dropouts might get a lot of attention for their ability to be entrepreneurial, the largest contribution to growth in businesses comes from those with lowest amount of education, even less than a high school diploma. In fact, the report seems to indicate that there is little difference in entrepreneurism from those with a high school education or those with some college, or those with a college degree. That is not to say that education is not worth the investment for some, but indications are that entrepreneurism clearly is a function of those with ideas and perhaps there is actually less regard for the level of education. The contribution from entrepreneurs with even less than a high school education is markedly increasing. In the last few years, perhaps the pressures of the economic downturn accelerated the need to create businesses in lieu of investing in a college education and a traditional career path.
Myth number (5) – Entrepreneurism exists mostly resulting from the high tech industry.
According to the Kauffman survey, the greatest amount of entrepreneurial activity originates from the construction industries, and it is significantly more that even the contribution from service industries, and other industries. As a result of the current economic conditions figures those might change in the next survey, but will likely still contribute significantly to entrepreneurism for some time to come.
Myth number (6) – Entrepreneurism favors the Western Region of the U.S.
True for the last fifteen years, the Western region does lead in entrepreneurial activity, but to those of us living in the South, we should take note that the South was a strong second, followed by the Midwest and the Eastern region ranking last. Since 1996, the first data point in the survey, the mix has changed slightly, but so then have the migratory patterns of citizens seeking work of entering retirement.
So now I am certain some of you are revisiting your thoughts about when, where and other factors about jumping in to start and grow a business. Armed with some of this information, and depending upon which ethnic, age, or area where you live, you should be encouraged to consider joining the ranks of those who are practitioners of entrepreneurism.
Stay turned from some suitable mind benders with our next installment of entrepreneurism.