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70+ Essential Entrepreneur Statistics in 2020

Being an entrepreneur means there’s no one route or ‘right way’ to success. With a shift to the gig economy and startup launches in industries like FinTech, entrepreneurship means you can monetize your passions or solve a problem like no one else has before. It’s changed what we see as a typical 9-to-5.

70+ Essential Entrepreneur Statistics in 2020

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Grit, purpose, and the ability to think big. Three qualities that run deep in an entrepreneur.

Being an entrepreneur means there’s no one route or ‘right way’ to success. With a shift to the gig economy and startup launches in industries like FinTech, entrepreneurship means you can monetize your passions or solve a problem like no one else has before. It’s changed what we see as a typical 9-to-5. Yet, the entrepreneurial journey comes with unique risks and challenges, especially if you’re paving your own way.

For the latest trends, we’ve compiled entrepreneurial statistics to track how leaders have built startups and small businesses up to now. Whether you’re raising capital or securing startup insurance, check out the numbers on entrepreneur success, failure, funding, and more before you begin.

01

Entrepreneurship Stats

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24 million Americans want to become self-employed by 2021, but face barriers to making the leap.

FreshBooks A large traffic cone
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Entrepreneurs favor flexibility five times more than the potential to make money.

GoDaddy
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Entrepreneurs cite readiness to be their own boss as the most common reason for starting a business, followed by wanting to follow their passion.

Guidant
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96% of people who are self-employed have no desire to go back to a ‘regular job.’

FreshBooks
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1 in 5 entrepreneurs own or manage a business with family members.

Global Entrepreneurship Monitor
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58% of entrepreneurs worked in the corporate world prior to starting their own businesses.

Xero A man diving off of a tall diving board.
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61% of self-employed people would be happy with their accomplishments if their career ended today.

FreshBooks A baloon with a happy face on it.
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Serial entrepreneurs run up to three businesses throughout their lives.

FreshBooks
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Control, fulfillment, and finances are the top three drivers of the next wave of self-employed professionals.

GEDI
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88% of self-employed professionals focus on smaller and more integrated services.

FreshBooks
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Employees who currently work at small companies are more likely to start their own business, compared to those who work at larger companies.

FreshBooks
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Over half of adults across 35 economies want to start a business to make money because jobs are scarce.

Global Entrepreneurship Monitor
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The U.S. has the top environment or ‘ecosystem’ to cultivate entrepreneurs, followed by Switzerland then Canada.

FreshBooks A pail watering a group of tulips.
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When asked about control over their career, 22% of entrepreneurs like the flexibility to choose when or where they work.

FreshBooks
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1 out of 5 people haven’t taken the plunge to entrepreneurship because they are loyal to their current company.

FreshBooks
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02

Small Business Statistics

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A small business is defined as having fewer than 500 employees.

U.S. SBA
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Most small businesses have fewer than 100 employees.

U.S. SBA
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There are 30.7 million small businesses in the U.S.

U.S. SBA A map of the United States.
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From 2000 to 2018, small businesses created 9.6 million new jobs.

U.S. SBA A sign that reads now hiring
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44% of small business owners are Gen Xers ages 39 to 54 years old.

Guidant
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Only half of small businesses are estimated to survive 5 years or more.

U.S. SBA
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Since 2019, there has been a 27% increase in people who are dissatisfied with corporate America and want to start their own business because of it.

Guidant
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32% of owners say lack of capital or cash is the biggest challenge to running a business.

Guidant An arrow gradually pointing down.
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The most popular small business industries are retail and business services.

Guidant
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83% of small business owners make less than $100,000 a year, while 30% take no salary.

Fundera
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03

Entrepreneur Demographics

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New business owners in the U.S. are getting younger, with the typical age dropping from 38 to 34 years old since 2017.

FreshBooks
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Since 2017, the number of college graduates who are self-employed dropped by 8%.

FreshBooks
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Most U.S. business owners are white, holding a 80% stake in businesses overall.

Pew Research Center
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Asian entrepreneurs run 10% of all U.S. businesses, making them the second largest racial or ethnic group.

Pew Research Center
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The mean founder age for the fastest growing new ventures is 45.

Age and High-Growth Entrepreneurship A cake with candles that say 45.
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Between 1996 to 2018, native-born business founders decreased, while immigrant entrepreneurs more than doubled.

Statista Two arrows traveling right while intertwining
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Solo founders are 54% less likely to close their business.

Sole Survivors: Solo Ventures Versus Founding Teams
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20% of all U.S. businesses are owned by people of color.

Brookings
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04

Female Entrepreneur Statistics

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In 2019, women in America started an average of 1,817 new businesses per day.

American Express
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There are 231 million women around the world starting or running their own business.

GEM 2018/2019 Women’s Entrepreneurship Report A city with tall buildings next to a small business.
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Across the globe, women are more likely to own sole proprietorships than men.

GEM 2018/2019 Women’s Entrepreneurship Report
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Female entrepreneurs earn 28% less than men in the U.S.

FreshBooks
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38% of female business owners used cash to start their business.

Guidant Dollars and coins falling down.
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Women of color own half of all female-owned businesses in the U.S.

American Express Two women of color standing together.
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The rate of female “sidepreneurs” grew almost twice as fast as the total growth of female entrepreneurship.

American Express
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Retail is the most popular industry for women-led small businesses.

Guidant
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In 2019, female-owned businesses earned an average of $142,900 compared to $474,900 for all privately held businesses.

American Express
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05

Entrepreneurship Success

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A 50-year-old startup founder is 2.8 times more likely to found a successful startup as a 25-year-old founder.

Age and High-Growth Entrepreneurship
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Communication, problem solving, and time management are the top three skills business owners think you need to be successful.

FreshBooks Three medals side-by-side
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Previous career experience in one industry can lead to greater success.

Age and High-Growth Entrepreneurship
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Entrepreneurs attribute determination, risk-taking, and vision to their success.

Inc.
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A college degree makes no difference on small business revenue.

FreshBooks
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The top three global cities for venture capital deals are San Francisco, New York, and London.

Center for American Entrepreneurship
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74% of small and medium business owners are willing to take big risks to ensure success.

Oxford Economics
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06

Entrepreneurship Failure Rate

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28% of aspiring entrepreneurs don’t have cash to invest, or need to pay down debt before they take the plunge into self-employment.

FreshBooks A jar with two coins and a paperclip inside.
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35% of aspiring entrepreneurs worry about having a lack of inconsistent income, while 27% don’t have a fully developed business plan.

FreshBooks
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The first year in business is the most difficult according to two-thirds of owners.

Intuit
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65% of owners cited financial issues like cash flow visibility or access to capital as a reason for failure.

Xero
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Looking at VC-backed companies, 42% of founders list failure to find market fit as a reason for failure, while 29% list they ran out of money.

CB Insights
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Failed entrepreneurs are more likely to be successful in their second attempt.

Serial Entrepreneurship: Learning by Doing?
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The percent of people who would not start a business for fear of failure is the lowest in the Republic of Korea (7%), while the next lowest are in Switzerland, the Netherlands, and Italy.

Global Entrepreneurship Monitor
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07

Small Business and COVID-19

A woman sits at a desk next to hand sanitizer and types on a computer while wearing a mask.

68% of owners are very concerned about the impact of COVID-19 on business.

NFIB Research Center
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Across the U.S., about 26% of small businesses (2 million) with fewer than 250 employees are in the immediate risk category.

Brookings
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41% of startups across the globe have three months or less of cash runway left.

Startup Genome A piggy bank next to a calendar
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One in eight startups have seen their revenue increase since the beginning of COVID-19, mainly in B2C companies.

Startup Genome
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56% of minority small-business owners are optimistic about the economy post-COVID-19.

McKinsey
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Two-thirds of teens would still consider starting a business or being an entrepreneur when they’re older, despite COVID-19.

Junior Achievement USA
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On average, employee counts are down by 40%.

Harvard Business School
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43% of businesses are temporarily closed.

Harvard Business School A sign that says be back soon
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The median business has less than one month of cash on hand.

Harvard Business School
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One in five small businesses are not currently affected by the outbreak, but 77% expect that to change if COVID-19 spreads.

NFIB Research Center
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Since the start of the crisis, North American companies have reduced headcount the most (84%), followed by Europe (67%) and Asia (59%).

Startup Genome
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08

Entrepreneur Tips: From The Experts

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“It’s having a product that is so high-quality, people come back for it.”

Daniel Lubetzky, KIND Founder and CEO
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“Putting your ego aside and really taking a minute to process what somebody else’s idea is—even if you are sure that yours is the very best.”

Julie Rice, SoulCycle Co-founder
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“As an entrepreneur, you write your own future. The harder you work, the higher the probability of being successful. You need to have passion, be willing to take risks, and continuously recognize opportunities.”

Ahmad Al-Shaabi, MEMBCO
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"It took me a long time to understand it, but [the advice was] to ask for help and that I don't know it all.”

Chip Wilson, Lululemon Founder
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“Entrepreneurship requires a strong love for the work you’re doing. If your heart’s not in it, you can only go so far. Prioritize honest self-talk, and leave space to flex as you develop.”

Jaime Schmidt, Founder of Schmidt’s Naturals
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“When you really believe in your product, you are willing to deal with all the naysayers and persevere.”

Ariana Huffington, founder and CEO of Thrive Global
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“Just because you are CEO, don't think you have landed. You must continually increase your learning, the way you think, and the way you approach the organization.”

Indra Nooyi, CEO of PepsiCo A rocket ship and planets
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As the world shifts, so should your business. There’s no promise that mistakes, hurdles, or outside factors won’t come. Especially in times of crisis, you may have already had your startup growth or business plans derailed for the time being.

Take note of your startup’s changing industry and how you can adapt to what your customers are looking for. Always ensure your startup is covered to keep you and your team safe with insurance built for change.