The enthusiasm for entrepreneurship has always been very high in the USA. This is due to the numerous possibilities and the low entry threshold and little bureaucracy compared to other countries. A study by UPS Inside Small Business Survey found that around 66% of Americans dream of starting a business. Just 3 years later, in 2021, they asked the same question. This time, 80% of the survey participants expressed the desire to found a start-up. That’s an increase of 14%. What has changed in the meantime, does the pandemic play a role, and how have American attitudes and expectations towards entrepreneurship changed? IONOS conducted a study on these and many other issues related to entrepreneurship in the US. For this purpose, 500 participants, evenly distributed by age and gender, were interviewed.
Why Self-Employment and Entrepreneurship Has Become so Attractive
One of the main reasons for wanting to be self-employed could be dissatisfaction with your current job. Around 35% of those surveyed said they were dissatisfied with their job. Women and people in their 30s seem to be more dissatisfied than men or people in their 40s and 50s. But what should the ideal job look like? The participants seem to see the key to satisfying their career aspirations in entrepreneurship and self-employment. When asked why they want to start their own business, the most common answers were the following.
- Being your own boss
- Flexible working hours
- Higher earning potential
Developing a Successful Business: The Biggest Requirements and Obstacles
Although nearly 80 % of Americans want to be self-employed, only 12 % manage to follow this dream. So, what hinders them from starting their business? One of the most important reasons seems to be the lack of financial support and funding in all age groups. This was closely followed by the desire for help in developing a business plan (53%), marketing (45%), and developing and maintaining a company website (41%). The younger generation in particular seems to be convinced that being tech-savvy and present on various digital platforms is a key success factor for a business. Especially during the pandemic, this belief appears to have held true.
COVID-19’s Impact on Entrepreneurship in America: Fear or Opportunity?
The COVID-19 pandemic changed people’s lives in many areas. This also applies to the labor market. Many lost their jobs during the pandemic or struggled with job insecurity. This also had an impact on American attitudes towards entrepreneurship. Of those surveyed, 39% of men said the pandemic has directly increased their desire to be self-employed. For women, it was 48% of those surveyed.
Digitalization seems to have grown significantly in importance during the pandemic. Based on this experience, around 18% of those surveyed would prefer a digital business model. That’s no surprise, considering how many business activities have been forced by lockdowns to go digital-only. Many participants have also discovered through the pandemic that a successful business can exist not only in big cities but also in rural areas.
The willingness to start a business has increased significantly due to the pandemic. Nearly 80% of the participants can imagine starting a business. Among the most important reasons for being self-employed are a higher salary, flexible working hours, and the ability to live out passions and interests. The impact of COVID-19 on entrepreneurship and Americans’ opinions on this topic has been huge. Digitalization has become a key factor. Many participants, especially the younger generation, believe that an online presence is a key factor for a successful business. This change makes sense. Due to the pandemic, many companies were forced to carry out lockdowns by working in the home office and having customer contact exclusively digitally. Digitization will continue to have a major impact on entrepreneurship in the future. It remains exciting to see how Americans’ dream of owning a business will develop in the years to come.short url: