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  • Writer's pictureRoger Pierce

Entrepreneurship, by the numbers

Take a look at how many people are starting small businesses – and where

By Roger Pierce

Have you ever wondered how many entrepreneurs there are? The media and the politicians talk often about small businesses and small business owners, but just how many people run their own show?

Here's a quick summary of self-employed statistics from different countries:

  • The number of self-employed people in the United States is 9.61 million as of April 2021. Approximately 7% of Americans are self-employed. (Source: Oberlo)

  • In the United Kingdom, self-employed people represent 15% of employment. (Source:

  • There are 2.9 million self-employed people in Canada, representing about 15% of total employment. (Source: StatisticsCanada)

  • There are 582 million entrepreneurs in the world. (Source: SmallBizGenius)

Global entrepreneurship is growing

In many countries, self-employment is more common than employment. Check out this chart:

[Source: Statista]

That's why I call entrepreneurship the hottest career choice in the world

At one time or another, I think it's safe to say most people have thought about being an entrepreneur and opening a business.

For example, a recent survey revealed 70% of Americans want to be self-employed.

But, what's the attraction? Why would someone want to start a business?

Here's a few reasons:

  • The aspiring entrepreneur comes up with an idea and can't stop thinking about it.

  • There's a desire to earn more money.

  • An employee is sick and tired of their boss and the company they work for.

  • A parent wants a better lifestyle for their family.

  • The individual is looking for a new challenge.

  • A co-worker, friend or relative approaches with a tantalizing business proposition.

  • A hobby proves to have some business potential and the hobbyist becomes an entrepreneur.

In some situations, entrepreneurship is born of necessity when a person can't find a job and turns to self-employment in order to earn a living.

And, keep in mind that many aspiring entrepreneurs don't yet have a big idea or opportunity, but like the idea of being their own boss.

If you're attracted to entrepreneurship, you're clearly not alone, as more and more people around the world take those first uncertain steps to become business owners.


If you're curious about self-employed life and want to learn more about what it's like, check out my new course called The Unsure Entrepreneur. In the course, I share the good, the bad and the worst things about business ownership to help you decide whether or not it's for you. Watch my short video here.

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