Graziadio Working Paper Series
 

Title

The Entrepreneur Next Door: Characteristics of Individuals Starting Companies in America: An Executive Summary of the Panel Study of Entrepreneurial Dynamics

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2008

Abstract

The Panel Study of Entrepreneurial Dynamics attempts to provide systematic, reliable data about the fundamental nature of the business start-up or entrepreneurial process. 830 nascent entrepreneurs were identified from a sample of 64,622 U.S. households, and their business startup activities were followed over a two-year period.

This executive summary reports the first stage of the initial sample of 64,622 households and the screening interviews. Four questions were investigated: (1) who is starting businesses, (2) how they start them, (3) which efforts result in new firms, and (4) why some startups become successful high-growth businesses. Five successful entrepreneurs are also profiled.

Among the findings: entrepreneurship is a widespread activity; about half of all new ventures are started by teams; men are twice as likely as women to start new businesses; except for people older than 65, entrepreneurship involves adults of all ages; blacks are about 50 percent more likely than whites to start businesses; education and household income significantly predict entrepreneurship; place affects entrepreneurial activity; and the impact of urban context varies for whites, blacks, and Hispanics.

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