Small Business Statistics & Research

Why should small business issues receive more attention in classrooms?

Two-thirds of college students intend to be entrepreneurs at some point in their careers; however, business school textbooks stress large rather than small firm examples, something that has frustrated many students after graduation. Individuals with more education are more likely to become entrepreneurs, and they are also more likely to open a business employing more people. Classrooms, both within and beyond schools of business, are filled with potential innovators. The key is to provide the necessary skills that will allow them to foster these talents and start new businesses. (Sources: Students in Free Enterprise; Advocacy Focus Groups)

How important are small businesses to the U.S. economy?

  • In 2010, there were approximately 27.9 million small business firms in the United States, with roughly 75 percent of the firms having no employees.
  • Small businesses represent 99.7 percent of all employer firms.
  • They employ just under half of all private sector employees.
  • They pay 42.9 percent of the total U.S. private payroll.
  • Between 1993 and 2011, small businesses generated 64 percent of the net new jobs.
  • They employ 43 percent of the high tech workers.
  • Small businesses make up 98 percent of all firms exporting goods and 33 percent of the exporting value. 

(Sources: SBA Office of Advocacy, Frequently Asked Questions)  

Is there a link between entrepreneurship and economic activity?

There is a strong correlation between national economic growth and the level of national entrepreneurial activity in prior years, according to the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM). In GEM countries, 71 percent of nascent or would-be entrepreneurs expect to create 1 to 20 jobs, and 21 percent expect to create at least 20 jobs in their new ventures. Colleges and universities with high levels of R&D expenditures lead to increased firm formations in the surrounding metropolitan areas. Such R&D expenditures contribute to economic growth via these new firms. (Sources: Global Entrepreneurship Monitor; Advocacy-funded research by BJK Associates, Research Summary 222)

Where can I find more info and statistics about Small Businesses?

Check out our section on Small Business Statistics.