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Entrepreneurship: Facts & Trends

Dramatic Increase in Workforce Diversity
The Workforce 2020 Report from the Hudson Institute indicates that by 2020 the U.S. workforce will be 6% Asian, 14% Latino, 11% black and 68% non-Latino white (down from 76% today). Key additional trends in the workforce include increasing telecommuting and further aging of the workforce.

Small Businesses are THE Economic Engine
According to The Small Business Economy, published by the U.S. Small Business Administration, small businesses have been responsible for creating 60 to 80% of new jobs in the economy in recent years.

Good Place to Be in an Economic Recovery
According to The Small Business Economy: "...past research has suggested that smaller firms have been able to recover from economic downturns with respect to employment growth more rapidly than their larger counterparts. Data from the SUSB indicate that net job creation in the immediate years following the 1990-1991 and 2001 recessions stemmed from employment generated by small firms with fewer than 500 employees, while large businesses grew little because of net contractions in employment."

Downturns are a Good Time to Start a Business
Accoding to Shramm and Litan: " Time and again, entrepreneurs have led the way out of past economic downturns. Current business legends like Microsoft, Federal Express, Intel, Charles Schwab, and Southwest Airlines started in recessions or down markets. Indeed, 18 of the 30 companies that make up the Dow Jones Industrial Average were launched in recessions or in bear stock markets."

Franchising Is Big Business and Getting Bigger
Franchising commands 40% of all retail sales in the U.S. Franchisees are becoming sophisticated managers in order to compete. Just as in larger organizations, they are managing with an eye on the systematic use of teamwork, employee empowerment, and communication. Adding to the sophistication is the fact that many franchise companies have franchisees who come from corporate backgrounds. Additionally, more franchise systems are entering strategic alliances with outside major corporations as franchisers seek new ways to expand market share. The proportionate number of failures among franchises is significantly less than that of other start-up ventures. The current failure rate for franchises is estimated to be about 10% per year.

Nontraditional Sites are Key to Future Franchise Growth
Subway and Baskin-Robbins are now located in Coleman Oil's gas convenience stores. Lackmann Food Service franchises have opened at airports, sports stadiums, college campuses, and hospitals. Sbarro's Pizza has opened stores in casinos, college campuses, convention halls, river-boats, and retail stores. If you wish to open a franchise of a large chain that has already saturated traditional markets, these nontraditional sites may present more attractive opportunities -- or indeed, the only available opportunities.

Net Breaks Down Barriers Holding David from Goliath
Most small businesses are now using the Internet for advertising, client tracking, inventory tracking and other services. Small firms can act much like big firms electronically and are increasingly competing on the same level.

Networks and Ecosystems Key
Small businesses have access to networks that let them take on problems they could not solve alone. They get help on bank loans, business plans, and even create alliances to address issues like government regulation. Small businesses have access to very sophisticated market information and business data that only the Fortune 500 could afford ten years ago.

Haven for Corporate Refugees
More corporate refugees are applying their business skills to start-ups and franchising, changing the face of small business. They use their contacts, business partners, access to capital, and knowledge of specific products and markets to make small business very polished and professional.

Regulatory Burdens Growing
State and local government regulation and federal legislation are constantly evolving, and entrepreneurs must deal with all of the rule changes that may affect their business. These include labor regulations regarding EEO, family leave, disability, affirmative action, diversity, OSHA, minimum wage, health care, etc.; as well regulations concerning environmental, security, and other policy issues.
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