Entrepreneur Statistics: Demographics, Success Rate, COVID-19

Entrepreneur Statistics: Demographics, Success Rate, COVID-19

For information on the commissions we might earn, read our full disclosure.

Becoming an entrepreneur can seem frightening. It requires dedication, grit, and countless hours of hard work. However, while you are guaranteed to face numerous obstacles along the way—especially during the pandemic—starting your own business is far from impossible, and millions of entrepreneurs worldwide are excellent proof of that.

If you’re preparing to take the plunge into the world of entrepreneurship, we’ve compiled a list of the most useful entrepreneur statistics. Check them out to find out what it takes to become an entrepreneur. 

Top Entrepreneur Statistics: Editor’s Choice​

  • As of May 2021, the base median salary for small business owners is $65,013 per year.
  • Women comprise 32% of all entrepreneurs in the US.
  • Approximately 11.6 million firms are owned by women entrepreneurs.
  • Majority of entrepreneurs (58%) worked for a company before starting their own business.
  • The US ranked third on the list of best countries for entrepreneurs.
  • The US has around 31.7 million small businesses.
  • It will take you only four days to start a business in the US.
  • The biggest impact of COVID-19 for 23% of all entrepreneurs was loss of revenue.

General Entrepreneur and Small Business Statistics​


The following statistics can provide you with a small insight into how entrepreneurs fund their business and whether they invest in existing franchises. You’ll also find out what made some entrepreneurs start their own businesses, as well as how much income you can expect at the end of the year.

1. Around 29% of entrepreneurs start a business because they want to be their own boss.

However, this is just one of the reasons why many entrepreneurs decide to start their own businesses. Based on the entrepreneurship statistics for 2021 by Guidant Financial, about 17% of them are dissatisfied with the corporate USA, 16% want to pursue their passion, while 12% simply because the opportunity presented itself. 

2. More than half (58%) of business owners started a new independent business from scratch.

In addition, 18% of entrepreneurs have purchased their independent businesses. According to the newest entrepreneur statistics for 2021, 19% of the surveyed entrepreneurs invested in a brand new location, while 6% decided to invest in an already existing location.

3. There were 5.9 million private businesses in the UK at the start of 2020.

Based on the latest available entrepreneurship statistics in the UK, this is a 3.5% increase from 2018, when there were around 5.6 million privately-held businesses. In fact, apart from a small decline between 2017 and 2018, the number of businesses in the UK has increased every single year since 2000.

4. Statistics on new businesses show 39% of entrepreneurs rely on cash to finance their business.

While there are several ways to get funding for your business, most entrepreneurs rely on their own cash and savings. In addition, 20% of entrepreneurs used rollovers for business startups (ROBS), 10% relied on help from their family and friends, and 9% of entrepreneurs took SBA loans.

5. Entrepreneurial facts reveal the median income of small business owners is $65,013 a year as of May 2021.

According to the latest data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, this translates to $29.51/hr or $1,250/pw. It’s slightly higher than the median average, which is $989/pw and $51,428/y. However, an important thing to note is that a small (10%) percentage of entrepreneurs has an average salary of $30,000, while 90% have reported earning around $150,000 a year.

6. About 31% of firms with employees are family-owned businesses.

According to the latest entrepreneurial statistics, one in three firms with employees is family-owned. Such firms have 14 employees on average, while the industries with the highest share of family-owned firms were agricultural services with 46%. In contrast, the healthcare and social assistance industry had the lowest share of family-owned firms with 18%.

Entrepreneur Demographics​


There are no rules set in stone on who can become an entrepreneur. As you will see from the following statistics, age, gender, education, and ethnic background play a miniature role among entrepreneurs.

7. About 46% of business owners are Gen X.

The latest statistics about entrepreneurs show that business owners don’t let age prevent them from pursuing their goals. Apart from Gen X, a large percent (41%) of business owners are baby boomers. Around 13% of entrepreneurs are millennials, while only 1% of them belong to Gen Z.

8. Approximately 32% of entrepreneurs in the US are female.

However, based on various facts about entrepreneurship, this is excellent news for female entrepreneurs. Namely, even though the majority of entrepreneurs are male, the number of women entrepreneurs has increased by 13% compared to the last year.

9. Around 14.5% of small business owners have a high school/GED education.

Education doesn’t necessarily translate to determination or a knack for business, the latest entrepreneur data reveals. While some entrepreneurs have only a high school level of education, 11.1% of surveyed entrepreneurs have associate degrees, 44.6% have a bachelor’s degree, and 23.7% have a master’s degree. Moreover, 3.5% of them even have a doctorate.

10. About 36% of small business owners identified as Black.

Furthermore, 24% identified as Hispanic or Latino, 18% as Asian-American, and 6% as indigenous American. In addition, a small percentage of entrepreneurs in America identified as Middle Eastern or North African (4%), while 1% identified as Hawaiian or Pacific islander.

11. Millennials make up 19% of people of color entrepreneurs.

According to the latest entrepreneur demographics, baby boomers run 46% of white-owned small businesses. This age group represents only 28% of entrepreneurs among people of color. In fact, most of the businesses that people of color run are owned by Gen X with 52%, while only 43% of white-owned businesses are operated by Gen X. 

Women Entrepreneur Statistics


Despite facing more challenges than men, the number of businesses owned by women entrepreneurs has been rising for several decades. Women entrepreneurs own multiple businesses that continuously generate millions in revenue. In some countries, nearly half of businesses are owned by women.

12. 39% of women of color operate a small business in the US.

This is significantly higher than the number of women in charge of white-owned businesses. Moreover, the latest female entrepreneur statistics show that 24% of businesses operated by people of color have been open for 10 or more years, as opposed to 33% of white-owned businesses.

13. Around 51% of women business owners are Gen X.

In addition, 31% of women entrepreneurs are baby boomers, 17% are millennials, and only 1% are Gen Z. For comparison, the average age of small business owners is 50.3 years of age. Around 30% of women have owned a business for ten years or more, 17% launched last year, 20% have been open for two to three years, while 13% operate for four to five years.

14. Women own more than 11.6 million firms.

Despite how many entrepreneurs fail on the regular, the number of women entrepreneurs is continuously on the rise. Between 2014 and 2019, the revenue generated by women-owned businesses increased by 21% to $1.9 trillion. In fact, one in five firms with revenue of $1 million or more is owned by a woman. 

15. 46.4% of businesses in Ghana are owned by women.

The latest available women entrepreneurs statistics also show that, apart from Ghana, women own 34.6% of businesses in Russia, 33.8% in Uganda, and 33% in New Zealand. The lowest number of women entrepreneurs are in Egypt with only 3.3%, while Saudi Arabia has, by far, the lowest number of businesses owned by women with only 1.4%.

16. Women entrepreneurs earn 28% less than men in the US.

However, despite discouraging entrepreneurial facts, women entrepreneurs continue to press on. In fact, according to a State of Women-owned business report from 2019, women in America started an average of 1,817 new businesses per day.

Small Business Owner Statistics


Small businesses are the backbone for the country’s economy, and they help introduce growth, innovation to the local economy, while also providing millions of jobs worldwide.

The following small business statistics will show you how current small business owners operate, which industries are the most popular for small business owners, as well as whether small business owners value the power of digital marketing.

17. Around 44% of US entrepreneurs and small businesses have a website.

In contrast, 29% of small businesses didn’t even plan to use any form of digital marketing in 2019, entrepreneurship statistics reveal. Among the entrepreneurs who don’t have a website, 29% rely on social media or online marketplaces to advertise their products or services. 

18. Small businesses with websites reported a 38% higher median revenue than those without a website.

In fact, 79% of those with a website expect to grow at least 25% in the next three to five years, compared to 64% of those without a website. On a global scale, the latest data on entrepreneurs indicates that millennials are 4.5 times more likely to expect big growth in the next 3–5 years compared to baby boomers.

19. Food and restaurant services make up 12% of all small business industries.

After the food and restaurant industry, retail and business services are the most widespread small business industries with 11% each. The US entrepreneurship statistics also reveal that health, beauty, and fitness services make up 9% of small business industries, followed by residential and commercial services with 7%.

20. Approximately 58% of entrepreneurs had a corporate position before starting their own business.

According to the latest entrepreneur stats, employees who are employed at small companies are more likely to start their own business as opposed to those who work at larger companies. In fact, 35% of employees working at small companies report that the chances of becoming self-employed in the next two years are very likely. 

Entrepreneurship Statistics in the US


The US is one of the best countries for entrepreneurship. More importantly, entrepreneurs can accelerate the economic development in the country by creating new services and products or stimulating new employment, making them essential for the US economy.

The following statistics indicate potential entrepreneur growth in the country based on the opinion of future entrepreneurs, and also show you the age of small businesses in the US.

21. As of 2020, there are 804,398 business establishments less than a year old in the US.

This is a 5.6% year-over-year increase, as 774,725 businesses in the US were less than a year old in 2019. Based on entrepreneur facts from previous years, this also represents the highest number of young establishments in a single calendar year in 25 years. After the global financial crisis, entrepreneurship has been on a steady incline ever since 2010.

22. Almost 31% of businesses have been open for a decade or more.

According to the latest entrepreneurship statistics, 19% of US businesses have been operating for a year or even less. Another 19% of businesses have been working for two to three years. Additionally, data by Statista from March 2020 reveals that, while most businesses in the country are relatively young, more than 1,500,000 businesses in the US were opened before 1993.

23. Entrepreneur growth statistics reveal that about 24 million Americans want to be self-employed by 2021.

However, many decide not to because they don’t have the cash to invest or don’t want to give up health benefits. For others, some of the soft barriers include worrying about consistent income, earning less, or lacking a complete business plan. Interestingly, the report indicates that 96% of self-employed entrepreneurs in the USA have no intention of going back to a regular job.

24. The US is the third-best country for entrepreneurship.

The entrepreneurship subranking is based on the average of scores from different country attributes, such as how connected the country is to the rest of the world, the number of its educated population, how innovative the country is,etc. Even though the US has the highest percentage of entrepreneurs in the world, it ranked third in 2020, while Germany ranked first and Japan second. The UK ranked fourth, followed by Switzerland, and Canada.

25. There are 31.7 million small businesses in the US.

Based on the newest small business statistics, this is a significant increase compared to 2019 when there were 30.7 million small businesses in the country. In contrast, there were 20,139 large businesses in the US in 2020, meaning that small businesses account for 99.9% of all businesses in the country.

26. Recent statistics on new businesses show it takes only four days to start a business in the US.

However, in other countries, it takes even less before your business is up and running. You can start a business within a single day in New Zealand, and it can take two days in Singapore, Canada, and Australia, or five days in Belgium and the UK. Entrepreneurship statistics for 2021 worldwide show that, globally, it takes around 20 days on average to start a business.

Entrepreneurship and COVID-19: Challenges and Opportunities


COVID-19 has shaken the world economy and, even though the global pandemic affected all businesses worldwide, small businesses and entrepreneurs received the brunt of the attack. 

The following entrepreneurship statistics will show you how small entrepreneurs fared against COVID-19, the number of businesses that closed their doors, as well as how many businesses thrived amidst the chaos.

27. Approximately 78% of businesses expect to survive COVID-19.

Additionally, entrepreneurial statistics show that 19% of entrepreneurs are unsure whether their business will survive COVID, and 4% do not expect that at all. However, despite the hardships it brought, nearly half (43%) of entrepreneurs are very happy with their decision to start their own business, while only 8% of entrepreneurs said they were very unhappy.

28. Loss of revenue is the biggest impact COVID-19 had for 23% of all entrepreneurs.

According to 11% of entrepreneurs in the USA, the reduced budget was the most significant impact caused by the pandemic, apart from the revenue loss. Another 11% had to face temporary closure, 10% had to cut their own wages, while 7% had to make a temporary pivot to battle the consequences caused by the pandemic.

29. As of August 2020, around 163,735 total US businesses closed during the pandemic.

According to Yelp’s local economic impact report and the latest facts about entrepreneurs, approximately 65,769 of those businesses closed only temporarily, while 97,966 do not plan to open their doors. Furthermore, it could take about four years to regain 22 million jobs that were lost in the US during the early months of COVID.

30. Entrepreneurship stats indicate that about 51% of respondents reported a decline in profits due to the pandemic.

Moreover, 17% of them are seeking extensions on recurring payments, but less than 60% of them got such extensions. Nearly 85% of entrepreneurs took advantage of the Payroll Protection Program, while 17% believe they will require additional loans and funding. Unsurprisingly, a small number of entrepreneurs in the US (27%) reported they would reduce staff within the next six months.

31. Around 14% of food and restaurant business owners reported that they were not profitable in 2020.

The pandemic struck hard, and many businesses closed or lost profits. Additionally, 12% of health, beauty, and fitness business owners, as well as 11% of retail business owners reported they were not profitable. In contrast, entrepreneur statistics for 2021 show that industries like healthcare, business services, and home improvement thrived during the pandemic. 

32. Almost half of the gig workers (42%) have turned their side gigs into their main source of income.

Side gigs are a popular source of income for a good portion of the global workforce. According to some interesting facts about entrepreneurs, many gig workers decide to turn their side gig into an official business because of the pandemic. Nearly nine out of ten respondents said that their new business would be primarily online, or a combination of online and offline.

33. Entrepreneurship stats suggest that 60% of third-party online stores and marketplaces saw an increase in sales during the pandemic.

Pharmaceuticals, groceries, restaurant delivery, health and hygiene products, and financial services are some of the categories that saw the largest increase during the pandemic through third-party online marketplaces. According to the latest data, some of these services even experienced a 64% increase in sales.

Entrepreneur Success Rate Statistics


The following statistics and insights from seasoned entrepreneurs may help prepare you for what to expect when starting your own business. These statistics might also show you what are some of the biggest mistakes new entrepreneurs make so that you can avoid them. 

34. Entrepreneur stats reveal around 23% of entrepreneurs confirm lack of capital and cash flow is their main issue.

Entrepreneurs face many challenges and, apart from the pandemic, lack of capital and cash flow is just one of them. Entrepreneur failure rate statistics show that marketing and advertising are the main issues for 15% of entrepreneurs, while 13% struggle with time management. 13% report administrative work while providing benefits is the main issue for 6% of them.

35. Around 42% of startups fail because there is no market need.

In addition, 29% of startups simply run out of cash and funding. Based on startup failure rate, 23% of startups cite that not having the proper team is why their startup has failed, while 19% got outcompeted, and 18% had pricing and cost issues.

36. Around 18% of respondents said they plan to start a new business.

The success rate of entrepreneurs is based on numerous factors. While some of them fail, others excel at what they do and even start a second business shortly after their first one. According to the latest study by QuickBooks, out of 965 surveyed small business owners, around 73% of them said they plan on opening a new business within the next 12 months.

37. Small business and startup statistics show 50-year-old startup founders are 2.8 times more likely to found a successful startup than 25-year-olds.

Even though entrepreneurs of all ages are starting their own business, the success rate can depend on someone’s experience to some extent. Startup statistics from the NBER’s working paper indicate that you’re never too old to start a business — the founders of the most successful companies were 45-years old on average when they opened a company. 

38. Only 63% of businesses were profitable in 2020.

According to the latest facts about entrepreneurship, this figure stood at 78% in 2019. However, despite the concerning drop in the number of profitable businesses, many business owners (78%) believe that their business will survive the pandemic, while only 4% think their businesses are likely to fail.

Entrepreneur Statistics: The Takeaway

As you can see, there are a lot of factors that can determine whether your business will thrive or not. Sometimes, you will even face unpredictable challenges like the current global pandemic, so you should be prepared for anything.

However, the last thing you will want is to be indecisive. Even though it may prove to be difficult at times, you can greatly increase your chances by being diligent and passionate about your work, having a marketing plan, researching your competition and the latest industry trends, as well as investing time in building up your business.

Frequently Asked Questions

What percentage of entrepreneurs are successful?


According to the data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, approximately 80% of new businesses make it through the first two years of being open. Another 45% operate for at least five years, while 65% of them keep their doors open anywhere between five to ten years. Based on the same data, some of the most successful businesses (25%) end up operating for 15 years or more.

What is the average age of an entrepreneur when they start their company?


Based on several different studies, an average entrepreneur is 40-years-old when launching their first startup. Moreover, the findings from Harvard Business Review indicate that the average age of successful startup founders is 45. However, even though experience plays a significant role when starting your own business, younger generations also have certain advantages, such as being more capable of disruptive ideas or simply being more energetic.

How much does an entrepreneur make?


Based on the latest data available from February 2021, the median average salary for entrepreneurs is $65,433. However, an important thing to note is that around 10% of entrepreneurs reported earning around $30,000 a year while the vast majority (90%) reported earning approximately $150,000 per annum.

How many entrepreneurs are in the world?


According to the latest data from the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor survey, there are more than 582 million entrepreneurs worldwide. The research surveyed more than 65 different industries across the globe. However, an important thing to note is that the survey took place in 2017, so the number of entrepreneurs might be even higher today.

Why do most entrepreneurs fail?


Businesses can fail for many reasons. However, seasoned entrepreneurs agree that one of the most common reasons why most entrepreneurs fail is because they run out of money or funding. Others tend to fail because they aren’t familiar with the market and fail to understand their clients and competition. Lastly, industry veterans say that poor planning and a lack of marketing can lead to business failure.

How many hours do entrepreneurs work?


There is no right answer to this because the number of hours entrepreneurs work varies from one person to another. Entrepreneurs have flexible working hours, which can greatly depend on the line of business they are in. While some entrepreneurs report working 90 hours a week, others work only 8–16 hours. For others, the number of hours fluctuates every week.

What percentage of the population are entrepreneurs?


According to the latest information available from the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor from 2018/2019, approximately 16% of adult US citizens are entrepreneurs. Moreover, the latest entrepreneur statistics from the US Small Business Administration show that there are 31.7 million small businesses in the US.

Sources

Business Wire, CBS Insights, CEO World, CNBC, FreshBooks, FreshBooks, FreshBooks, GoDaddy, Guidant Financial, Guidant Financial, Guidant Financial, Guidant Financial, Merchant Savvy, PayScale, QuickBooks, QuickBooks, Statista, Statista, UNCTAD, US News, US Small Business Administration, World Bank, Xero, Yelp Economic