According to findings from the 2012 Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) U.S. Report issued just last week, the prospect of becoming an entrepreneur here in the U.S. is at its highest level in more than a decade. In fact, as much as 13 percent of the entire U.S. adult population is now engaged in some form of entrepreneurial activity, and many of them, in turn, are starting and operating their businesses out of their homes.
“Despite a sluggish economy, 2012 was marked by U.S. entrepreneurs reporting greater optimism and confidence in their abilities to start new businesses,” said the GEM report’s lead author, Donna Kelley, and “the vast majority starting businesses (did so in order) to pursue an opportunity rather than out of necessity.”
More than two-thirds of U.S. entrepreneurs report starting their businesses while working from home, and the vast majority of them also report using their own personal resources to get started and keep things going. In fact, just 16 percent of work-from-home business funding comes from banks, while a full 82 percent is drawn from other sources, such as personal savings, family and friends. Moreover, nearly a quarter of these home-based business owners employ their own family members.
Despite all the doom-and-gloom media punditry, this report indicates that the number of Americans who believe the U.S. provides good opportunities for starting a business is also increasing significantly, jumping from 36 to 43 percent in the space of just one year—the highest level recorded since GEM’s launch in 1999. Moreover, that optimism applies to the impact this whole new generation of business owners will have on the overall economy, with 37 percent of entrepreneurs anticipating that they will have more than five employees in the next five years and 34 percent stating they plan to introduce innovative products or services.
As for obstacles, today’s entrepreneurs continue to sight access to funding as an ongoing challenge, which may be why the fear of failure has inched up among those surveyed from one-quarter in 2008 to one-third in 2012. Additionally, U.S. business owners are reluctant to sell their products in unfamiliar territory outside of the U.S., believing such barriers such as language, customs and less favorable environments are real barriers to expansion. Where many entrepreneurs see roadblocks in this regard, others will quickly recognize the tremendous opportunities for growth that selling internationally represents and chart a new course toward globalization, the next new frontier in U.S.-based business opportunity.
If you're interested in starting your own home-based or other small business, we invite you to explore all the exciting and varied business opportunity, distributorship, licensee opportunity and franchise options available here on BusinessOpportunity.com today!