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Radiography of the American entrepreneur: America is in the queue in terms of entrepreneurship rate (according to OECD data), well below countries like the United States, Mexico, Canada or Australia, which lead the global ranking. For what is this? To the fear of failure? To the bureaucratic difficulty? Be that as it may, the entrepreneurial character in America has grown more than 100% in recent years, according to a study on entrepreneurial talent developed by the social platform LinkedIn. This indicates that the data is improving, although we are still far from the American average.
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We may not be at the forefront of entrepreneurs, the latest data show that this sector is increasing. Let’s see more closely how the American entrepreneur is thanks to the study conducted by America Startup-South Summit.
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The average profile of the American entrepreneur is a 36-year-old man, with a university education, both in engineering and social sciences, which is half of the cases is not the first time he has created a Startup. These are data that can be found in the 2017 Startup-South Summit Entrepreneurship Map.
Also, having a university career is essential at the time of undertaking, since 97% of the people who decided to take the step had completed their higher education, as indicated in the 2017 Entrepreneurship Map.
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The study also throws data that do not agree with the general thought: only 1.5% of the entrepreneurs had no job before starting the adventure. According to the Map of Entrepreneurship 2017, 57% of entrepreneurs worked, 30% were entrepreneurs and 10% were students (although the trend is going down, as fewer and fewer people start to start their journeys in the world labor).
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Another data of the study shows that 48% of the new entrepreneurs had already started before, that is, they were recurrent. Also, more than 25% had already launched two or more Startups. In general, it takes about 2.5 people to open a new company, and one in five people who do it are women. About the failure, more than half of the entrepreneurs who return to undertake failed in their first project, and 29% sold it. Although failure can always be associated with startups, it decreases with more experience as the 2017 Entrepreneurship Map demonstrates, since the tendency to failure decreases as the number of startups created increases. For example, the failure of the first startup is 33%, while those who already have four startups created the percentage drops to 20%.
Looking at the motivations of entrepreneurs, it is clear from the study that 61% always wanted to be, 20% joined a project they believed in, 18% wanted to change their professional career, and only 1% decided to start because I was unemployed and I wanted to try it. As we see, not everyone decides to be an entrepreneur, but in most cases, it is a conscious decision and the dream of many.
Regarding the maturity of the startups, according to the 2017 Entrepreneurship Map, most are in the “early” or “seed” phase, that is, they are in their principles. For example, 55% have between 1 and 3 years of life. If we talk about income, 3 out of every 7 invoices more than 150,000 $ a year (2% invoice more than 5 million dollars a year). In terms of earnings, 14% say that their accounts present positive data.
As regards workers, the majority have between 2 and 10 employees. Although they are small companies if we think of large companies where thousands of people work, they are generating jobs since 87% of them are looking for new workers. Among the most demanded profiles are software development, sales, and marketing.
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Although the majority of entrepreneurs are men (82% of the total), the presence of women (18%) is stable and is also increasing in recent years, as shown by figures collected by the ATA, National Federation of self-employed workers. The study shows that in 2015 women represented 42.3% of the growth of self-employed workers. But even less, the 2017 Entrepreneurship Map shows that startups led by women fail less than those led by men (27% versus 59% men). This is because they are more conservative when it comes to controlling and managing the resources of the startup.
What are the cities where most are undertaken in America? Analyzing the cities with the highest rate of entrepreneurs are New York, Washington DC, San-Francisco, Los Angeles. For example, in the capital, there are 141 entrepreneurs per million inhabitants, while in Nevada and New Mexico it is only 20 per million.
The reasons why it is undertaken more in these cities than in others are multiple, such as, for example, that they are places with a good communication and transport network, they have a greater number of demands with respect to potential clients, an easy and fast access to new technologies and that is close to the nerve centers of the sector in which they are going to develop.
Also, the size of the city at the time of undertaking is considered important. For this reason, Washington DC and New York are in the top positions of the table. Let’s see the five cities in more detail:
- Washington DC: The capital stands out for its privileged location and its excellent communications and transport network. It is also the multisectoral power center of the state and is also one of the regions with more purchasing power in the USA, which offers an attractive portfolio of potential customers to the entrepreneur.
- New York: It is one of the most important cities in the US. Its cosmopolitan environment makes it very attractive for new entrepreneurs and is also leading in sectors such as the design, fashion, and creative industry. All these reasons make New York a center of innovation, with new companies, universities, and research centers.
- LA: With its commitment to the audiovisual sector, the economy has been boosted for auxiliary companies in the area, but it also involves activities such as hotels, restaurants and research centers.
- Bilbao: Thanks to the collaboration of the Basque Government, it is betting on the scientific and technological industry through Bio Basque, an initiative to promote bioscience companies. Among its projects is the promotion of risk capital and the financing of R + D + i. San Sebastian is behind the wake of Bilbao, with improvements in public investment, financial opening and the creation of technology parks.
- San-Francisco: The Andalusian capital and the autonomous community are having more and more important in the creation of new companies. Specifically, all these cities have become the leaders of the region in terms of entrepreneurs. For example, LA is committed to the aeronautics, agroindustrial, ICT and energy sectors.
What are the objectives that every entrepreneur has to have in mind? Although it depends on the type of project you want to do, such as the financing available at the beginning and the workforce, there are some objectives and goals that are usually common for all new entrepreneurs:
- Planning: Great short-term goals are not good friends because in most cases it will not go well. It is important to have an order and divide the objectives in the short, medium and long term.
- Define the business model and strategy: It is essential to be clear about your main objectives as a company and what action plan will be taken to achieve them.
- Networking: Generate an agenda with all the events you want to attend, as well as being able to tell your business about people you meet at parties or meetings, will allow you to generate a network of contacts.
- Be more efficient: Better time management will allow you to do more things and carry them out better. Do not work more hours than you should: Efficiency not only aims to do more things during a workday but also achieve the daily goals in a reasonable amount of time. Having a life outside of the office and resting the necessary is essential.
- Do not neglect your family and friends: When you are an entrepreneur you have very little time for your loved ones. However, these people can be your greatest motivation and support. Your schedule may always be full, but try to spend a few hours a day with them, whether it’s having a coffee, going to dinner or other leisure activities that allow you to disconnect. From what we see, in general, the entrepreneur must be willing to face failure because in many cases this occurs. Likewise, it does not have to be a break because, as shown, trying harder and being clear about what the objectives are means that the road to success is closer.