The New American Entrepreneur

Although the US economy has taken a beating of late, with repeated financial crises and downturns, the country still leads the way in entrepreneurship. As of 2010, the percentage of Americans starting new businesses was at a 15-year high, with an estimated 340 out of every 100,000 adults launching a new enterprise every month. Although the reasons for launching a business vary widely, the result is the same: innovation, creativity and a contribution to growth.

New entrepreneurs don’t fit just one profile. The young webmaster and the retiree seeking a new career, the unemployed professional who creates a job because there isn’t one to be had, and everyone in between, is finding it easier than ever to launch a business, thanks to internet tools and niche markets in virtually every area.

The old statistics – that most small business startups fail in the first year – may still hold true in some sectors. Brick and mortar startups requiring heavy inventory and staffing still struggle. But increasingly, the new entrepreneur is really a micro-entrepreneur, capable of launching a one or two person service or consulting business for only a few hundred dollars and some web space.

Groups benefiting from the new model of business ownership are those who might never have had the opportunity to launch an enterprise under the old system. The number of businesses owned by women and minorities is surging, with record numbers of loans provided by the Small Business Administration and other lenders to those borrowers.

The rise of the micro-loan has boosted small business ownership, too. Since many businesses require very little in the way of startup, numerous lenders are making small loans available to business borrowers who don’t fit the traditional profile – those with poor credit, a spotty job history or other red flags. And it’s just this start-up cash that opens doors to independence and contributions to the economy as a whole.

The new American vision of entrepreneurship has made its influence felt on a global scale, too. The , offering loans as low as $100, has helped women entrepreneurs in India and Africa launch a variety of new businesses and services that keep families solvent and communities thriving. And international partnerships, fueled by the Internet, have enabled these new entrepreneurs to connect with others around the world for support and cooperation.

Being an entrepreneur is part of the romance of the American dream –hard work, independence and contributing to the country’s shared hope for the future. Difficult financial times and hopes for a better life have spurred Americans to create around 558,000 new businesses every month, and to help others across the globe to do the same. Thanks to new technology, more and more people around the country are able to launch independent enterprises, sharing ideas and boosting economic growth through innovation, ingenuity and profit.

The American Monetary Association

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