OK, I admit we are patting ourselves on the back here.
In early 2007 we released the Intuit Future of Small Business report The Changing Face of Entrepreneurs. In it we forecast that the next decade would see entrepreneurs become much more diverse than their predecessors in age, origin and gender.
The report also forecast that personal businesses - one person businesses without employees - would increase in number and importance, and drive an overall increase in entrepreneurial activity.
This forecast was based, in part, on our belief that entrepreneurs would increasingly choose not hire employees, but instead use contingent workers, freelancers, partners and new technology. This would result in more personal business startups and fewer employer business startups.
The Kauffman Foundation just released their annual Entreprenurial Activity Index for 2010 and I'm pleased to report our forecasts from 5 years ago (we did the research in 2006) are on target. Key data from Kauffman Index for 2010 shows:
The 2010 entrepreneurial activity rate represents the highest level over the past decade and a half.
The overall entrepreneurship rate is up due to a growing number of personal business startups; the rate for employer business startups fell again in 2010 and is near a 10 year low.
Entrepreneurs are increasingly diverse. The shifts are covered in the Kauffman Activity Index report and in a post on the Kaufman Foundation Data Maven blog.
We'll have more on Kauffman Index in the coming weeks. I particularly want to dive deeper on the rise of personal businesses and the decline in employer business startups.
The Kauffman Foundation makes it clear in their press release Jobless Entrepreneurship Tarnishes Steady Rate of U.S. Startup Activity they think this is bad.
They could be right. There's strong historical data supporting their view. Most academics and policy makers also agree with this position.
And although "this time it's different" and "structural change" are the two scariest phrases in forecasting, we think structural change means this time it's different and the rise of personal businesses is a good thing. More later.