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49 Mind-blowing Entrepreneur Statistics for 2020

by Darko

Starting a business can be a terrifying prospect: 

But if you have the guts to do it, there is nothing more empowering.

Horrifying entrepreneur statistics related to startup failures are one of the biggest reasons why many people, especially the younger generation, are hesitant to take a step towards starting their own businesses. 


Becoming an entrepreneur is not an impossible dream. The almost 600 million entrepreneurs in the world are a testament to that.

So, if you want to start your own business, take a look at these entrepreneur facts and determine your chances of success!

Incredible Entrepreneur Statistics 2019 (Editor’s Choice)

  • There are over 582 million entrepreneurs in the world.
  • 26% of entrepreneurs start their own business because they want to become their own boss.
  • 62% of US billionaires are self-made.
  • 33% of entrepreneurs only have a high school diploma or a GED.
  • SMEs in the UK account for 60% of total employment.
  • 60% of people with small business startups are over the age of 40.
  • Small businesses were responsible for 97.6% of US exports in 2015.
  • There are 12.3 million US women-owned businesses that generate over $1.7 trillion in revenue.
  • Only 49.6% of startups survive after five years.

General Entrepreneur Stats

1. What percentage of the population are entrepreneurs?

There were 582 million entrepreneurs in the world, according to statistics in 2017, which amounts to almost 13% of the global population. Although this is quite a big rise from previous years, there is still some room for improvement.

(Source: The Hill)

2. What percentage of entrepreneurs are successful?

This depends on what you consider successful. According to the US Bureau of Labor, 76.7% of businesses survive the first year, and 50.1% of businesses survive after the second year. The success of an entrepreneur depends on their planning, funding, and flexibility.

(Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics)

3. What is the failure rate of all entrepreneurs?

According to data, over 50% of entrepreneurs failed after the first five years. Small business statistics estimate about 25.9% of small businesses managed to make their way to the next 15 years.

(Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics)

4. About 62% of adults believe entrepreneurship is a good career choice.

According to the Global Entrepreneurship Model’s entrepreneur stats from 2018 to 2019, over 60% of people believe that entrepreneurship is a sound career move. About 40% of respondents also surprisingly believe it is easy to start a business.

(Source: Babson)

5. 19.6% of entrepreneurs work in the construction/trades field.

The construction and trades field has the highest number of entrepreneurs. This is followed by retail at 10.9%, real estate at 10.7%, and consulting at 10.3%. The marketing field only has 1.7% of entrepreneurs, which brings it to the bottom of the list.

(Source: FreshBooks)

6. 26% of entrepreneurs say the idea of being their own boss was their primary motivation to start a business.

According to the most recent entrepreneur stats, 26% of entrepreneurs were ready to be their own boss, 23% wanted to pursue their own passion, 19% took the chance when the opportunity presented itself, 12% were dissatisfied with the corporate US, 6% were laid off or outsourced, and 6% were not yet ready to retire.

(Source: Guidant Financial)

7. 54% of self-employed business owners say they make more money now.

Although 67% of people believe they will earn more once they set up their own business, only 54% confirm this. Additionally, 74% also say they know they will need to work harder once they switch to entrepreneurship, but only 59% actually do so.

(Source: FreshBooks)

8. 97% of entrepreneurs say they will never go back to working for someone else, entrepreneur facts reveal.

Once people switch to entrepreneurship, there is huge evidence that they are satisfied with their choice. 97% say they won’t ever go back to traditional jobs, and 70% actively work to expand their business.

(Source: FreshBooks)

entrepreneur statistics - photo

Entrepreneurship Statistics Worldwide

9. There are a whopping 582 million entrepreneurs in the world.

This figure is one of the biggest incentives for young professionals to start their own business. Entrepreneurship stats can help countries gain a better idea of industry trends and see where they can gain more traction for development.

(Source: The Hill)

10. The US has the highest Global Entrepreneurship Index ranking at 83.6%.

According to the 2018 Global Entrepreneurship Index rankings, the United States is the best country for entrepreneurs, followed by Switzerland at 80.4%, ahead of English-speaking countries like Canada, the UK, and Australia.

(Source: GEDI)

11. It takes just 1 day to start a business in New Zealand

New Zealand is the easiest place in the world to start a business, followed by Canada, where you can set up your business in 2 days, Australia (3 days), Belgium (4 days), the UK (5 days), and the US. (6 days). This is significantly shorter than starting businesses in other large economies, like India, which can take up to 30 days, according to India entrepreneur statistics.

(Source: Finances Online)

12. 53% of entrepreneurs in Brazil are solo operators.

Over half the entrepreneurs in Brazil do not plan to hire a team and are satisfied to manage their own business solely by themselves. This makes Brazil the world leader when it comes to solo business operators, followed by Madagascar, with 30%.

(Source: Babson)

13. 11% of the Indian adult population is working on early-stage entrepreneurial activities.

However, only 5% of the adult population in Indian goes forward with opening up their own business and survive for over 42 months, according to India entrepreneurship statistics. This rate is one of the lowest in the world.

(Source: GEM)

Entrepreneurs USA Statistics

14. 83.1% of entrepreneurs started their business from scratch.

More than eight out of ten entrepreneurs have started their own companies in the US, while 11.3% bought the business from someone else and 7.2% inherited businesses or received them as gifts.

(Source: US Census Bureau)

15. 60% of people in Miami say they can start their own business.

According to entrepreneur stats, about 55% of Americans believe they can set up their own business. In Miami, the number rises to 60%, and in Detroit its 57%. Additionally, only 27% of entrepreneurs in Miami and 21% of entrepreneurs in Detroit are concerned about business failure.

(Source: Babson)

16. 62% of billionaires in the United States are self-made.

There are 585 billionaires in the United States, nearly two-thirds are self-made. Only 20% inherited the fortune. This is great news for youth who want to set up their own business.

(Source: Wealth-X)

17. The US will have 27 million self-employed professionals by 2020.

In 2019, there were over 15 million Americans who do their own business. The number is expected to almost double in 2020, and it is expected that 20% of entrepreneurs will set up a business in a completely different field than their traditional job.

(Source: FreshBooks)

18. 33% of entrepreneurs only completed their high school.

A solid one-third of entrepreneurs only had a high school diploma or GED. 67% of entrepreneurs went to college, but only 9% have a bachelor’s degree, 3% have a master’s degree or PhD. Additionally, 32% of entrepreneurs said they have taken a few business classes, according to entrepreneur education statistics.

(Source: Guidant Financial)

UK Business Startup Statistics

19. Entrepreneurs in the UK started 2.2 million businesses between 2000 and 2016.

According to business startup statistics, the number of UK businesses increased by 66% from 2000 to 2016. However, 96% of these businesses are micro-businesses with fewer than 10 employees.

(Source: Truro and Penwith College)

20. There were 5.9 million small and medium enterprises in the UK in 2019.

The definition of SME businesses in the UK is a business with no more than 250 employees. This amounts to about 99% of all businesses in the country, with 96% of the chunk being comprised of micro-businesses.

(Source: UK Parliament)

21. The UK business population grew by 2.4 million between 2000 and 2019.

This is an increase of 69% over two decades, with the highest rate of improvement between the years 2003 and 2004, and between 2013 and 2014.

(Source: FSB.org)

22. SMEs in the UK account for 60% of total employment.

The number of total employees in British SMEs was 16.1 million, but the turnover is estimated at 52%, accounting for $2.2 trillion, according to UK startup statistics.

(Source: FSB.org)

23. 54% of businesses in Aberdeen have the highest five-year survival rate.

The best place to set up your new business is in Aberdeen, Scotland, where 54% of new businesses show a five-year survival rate and the ninth highest startup growth rate. Meanwhile, cities like London, Birmingham, and Manchester came at the bottom of the rankings.

(Source: Truro and Penwith College)

entrepreneur statistics - business

Small Business Startup Statistics

24. 60% of people with small business startups are over the age of 40.

When starting a business, experience matters. According to 2019 small business startup statistics, 60% of entrepreneurs from 2,700 startups were between the age of 40 and 60, and 4% were actually over the age of 70. Apparently, it does get better with age.

(Source: Guidant Financial)

25. Small businesses were responsible for 97.6% of US exports in 2015.

In 2015, a total of 295,834 companies exported goods from the US, out of which 287,835 were small businesses. These businesses earned a total of $1.3 trillion or 32.9% of the country’s total export revenue.

(Source: SBA)

26. 68% of small businesses have outstanding debts.

Out of these, 9% owe over $1 million, 37% owe an amount ranging from $100,000 to $1 million, and 55% owe less than $100,000, according to startup statistics 2017.

(Source: Federal Reserve Banks)

27. 33% of small businesses lack capital.

This is the biggest challenge for small businesses, especially ones that have been recently set up. About 15% of these say they face a marketing challenge, 13% say they are struggling with time management, and 10% outsource accounting.

(Source: Guidant Financial)

28. 40% of small business startups are profitable.

Just about 40% of small startups are profitable, 30% break even, and 30% operate at a loss year after year. Only 9% have the chance of surviving after 10 years.

(Source: Small Biz Trends) 

29. The San Francisco Bay Area accounts for 13.5% for all global startup businesses.

Small business startup statistics reveal that 10 cities out of the top 20 cities responsible for startup deals are in the US. these include San Francisco and Silicon Valley. Meanwhile, New York is the second-largest US deal site at 6.5%.

(Source: Center for American Entrepreneurship)

Social Entrepreneurship Statistics

30. About 40% of US social enterprises have five employees or less.

Two out of five US social enterprises have no more than five employees, and just 8% of these companies employ over 100 workers, according to social entrepreneurship statistics.

(Source: Social Enterprise Census)

31. 35% of social enterprises are non-profit.

Over one-third of social enterprises in America are non-profit, while 31% are for-profit.

(Source: Social Enterprise Census)

32. 77% of social entrepreneurs say they were inspired by social impact.

Over three-quarters of entrepreneurs say the main reason they set up social enterprises was that they were inspired by citizenship and social impact. This may be largely because 86% of millennials believe businesses should not be just about making money but should also have a positive impact on society.

(Source: Deloitte)

33. 45% of all social enterprises have less than $250,000 in income.

Almost half of American social enterprises have revenue of less than $250,000, while 35% bring in revenue of less than $200,000.

(Source: Social Enterprise Census)

Student Entrepreneur Statistics

34. 9% of all students decide to become entrepreneurs directly after completing their education.

About one in ten students want to become entrepreneurs as soon as they come out of school, while 34.7% will wait to gain five years of experience to launch a startup. This indicates that the intention to become an entrepreneur increase almost four times after five years.

(Source: GUESS Global)

35. 6,479 startups were founded by undergraduate degree holders from nine US universities in 2017.

According to Statista, the universities included the University of California Berkeley, Stanford University, MIT, Harvard University, the University of Pennsylvania, Cornell University, the University of Michigan, the University of Texas, and the University of Illinois. Most of the undergraduates started software businesses, with students at the University of California Berkeley responsible for 452 such businesses.

36. Over 26% of UK university students run or plan to run a business while in university.

According to 2018 student entrepreneur statistics, over 450,000 students run a business while still in college and earn collective revenues of £1 billion (approx. $1.3 billion). However, there’s more than a single way to make money as a student

(Source: Santander Universities)

Women Entrepreneur Statistics

37. The ratio of male and female entrepreneurs is 10 is to 7.

According to global statistics of women entrepreneurs, there are 10 male entrepreneurs for every 7 women. However, Indonesia, Thailand, Panama, Angola, Madagascar, and Qatar are six countries with almost non-existent gender discrimination when it comes to entrepreneurship rates.

(Source: Babson)

38. There are 12.3 million female-owned enterprises in the US.

Women entrepreneurship rates have witnessed an improvement of 31 times since 1972. In 1972, there were only 402,000 businesses owned by women. Now, 40% of all firms are owned by women.

(Source: WBENC)

39. Women-owned businesses generate over $1.7 trillion in US revenue.

According to American Express, female-owned businesses are responsible for hiring 9 million Americans and earn $1.7 trillion, according to female entrepreneur statistics.

(Source: American Express) 

40. 46% of women who own businesses are from minority groups.

Minority women own approximately 5.5 million businesses in the US, which employ over 2.1 million people and generate revenue of $361 billion. The biggest section (19%) belongs to African-American women, 17% belong to Latinas, and 9% belong to Asian Americans.

(Source: American Express)

41. 53% of US startups have at least one female executive.

Research on small business startup statistics states that 53% of US startups have at least one woman in leadership or executive position, which shows a 10% jump from 2018. The report also showed an increase of 8% in the female representation on the board of directors as well which rose to 37%.

(Source: Silicon Valley Bank)

entrepreneur statistics - woman

Success Rate of Entrepreneurs

42. People with the most successful businesses are 42 years old on average.

Though it might come as a bit of a surprise, entrepreneur statistics show that middle-aged men have a better chance of succeeding in their businesses than younger people.

(Source: MIT Sloan)

43. 37% of IT startups survive after four years.

Of all the businesses, IT startups are most likely to fail and have a success rate of just 37% after four years. In contrast, 58% of real estate, finance, and insurance companies still operate after four years and have the highest success rate.

(Source: Serious Startups)

44. Only 49.6% of startups survive after five years.

Successful entrepreneurship statistics show that just under half of small startups survive after five years, 68% make it through their second year and less than 80% of startups only survive their first year. In the period from March 2009 to March 2019, only 35% of businesses survived.

(Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics)

45. First-time successful entrepreneurs tend to have a 30% success rate in their next venture.

Entrepreneurs who founded a successful company once tend to have a much better success rate with their next venture. This makes sense since, for first-time successful entrepreneurs, their business will provide them the knowledge and experience to better start another venture. First-time failed entrepreneurs will also learn from their mistakes and improve their chance for success in their next venture.

(Source: SSRN)

Startup Failure Rate Statistics

46. 22.4% of businesses fail in their first year.

Many new candidates who are deciding to plunge into the world of business often ask how many entrepreneurs fail in their business venture. According to the BLS, 22.4% of startups failed from 2018 to 2019. Out of the 629,078 startups that arose in 2014, only 50.9% survived to see 2019.

(Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics)

47. 42% of businesses fail because of lack of need in the market

There are several reasons why businesses fail the top-most of which is that there is no market need, failure rate stats reveal. Additionally, 29% of enterprises fail because they run out of cash, and 23% fail because they could not get the right teams. 17% also fail because they have a user-unfriendly model and a bad business model.

(Source: CBInsights)

48. 70% of startup tech companies fail after 20 months of raising funds, entrepreneur statistics reveal.

70% of startup companies closed down or became self-sustaining less than 2 years after their initial seed funding. About 46% of startups that raised their initial funds end up raising another round of financing.

(Source: CBInsights)

49. Small business entrepreneur failure rate decreased by 30% over the past four decades.

The good news is that the failure rate is decreasing. Since 1977, small business failure rate has decreased by nearly a third because entrepreneurs are now getting smarter. So, they are choosing to do business in lucrative sectors using modern, innovative technology to streamline their business processes.

(Source: Entrepreneur)

Bottom Line

Although the above entrepreneur statistics do not exactly inspire a lot of confidence in entrepreneurs, don’t let them be the reason to never start your own business. If you make a reliable business strategy and model, you will be able to overcome a lot of hurdles.

Every business has a different formula for success. Hopefully, our astonishing stats and facts can help you understand the trends in the industry and get you past those few critical years.


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