If optimism for entrepreneurship in the United States were plotted on a bar chart, the year 2012 would tower over previous years, at least according to the authors of the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor.
In its 2012 United States Report, the authors said that large numbers of Americans saw opportunity in entrepreneurship in 2012, with Total Entrepreneurial Activity at its highest level since the survey started in 1999.
“America is often described as a land where people can live their dreams,” the report said in its Executive Summary. “In 2012, that dream was entrepreneurship.”
Sponsoring partners in the report were Babson College and Baruch College.
While the authors didn’t break it down state-by-state, here are some key findings from the report:
Opportunity Perceptions: More than 43 percent of Americans believed there were good opportunities for entrepreneurship around them. This figure represents a jump of 20 percent from 2011 and the highest level recorded since the report began in 1999.
Capabilities Perception: In 2012, 56 percent of Americans believe they had the capabilities to start a business. That measure has remained remarkably stable despite severe economic volatility during the past five years.
Entrepreneurial Activity: The jump to high total entrepreneurial activity levels in 2011 was followed by a slight tick upward to 13 percent in2012, the highest level recorded in the history of the report. Entrepreneurial intentions continued to increase, more than doubling the 2009 rate, when this indicator, along with many others, plummeted during the recession.
Financing: Entrepreneurs needed a median level of $15,000 to start their businesses, and 82 percent of this funding came from personal, family and friends sources.