Self-employment on the rise

Fact #418:  According to a report in USA Today, 5.6 million Americans aged 50 and older are now self-employed. That’s an increase of 23 percent from 1990. The same trend is unfolding in Canada, where the fastest-growing sector of the small business market consists of businesses started by people aged 55 and older.

Fact #419: 48 percent of America’s privately-held companies are at least half-owned by women, an increase from 44 percent in 1997, according to the Center for Women’s Business Research. The reasons these entrepreneurs cited for starting their own businesses included the freedom to set their own schedules, the chance to pursue an opportunity, and the desire to escape from the “glass ceiling” that they felt limited their careers in corporations.

Fact #420:  In 2003, 1.3 million Hispanic-Americans were self-employed, which is more than five times the 241,000 who were self-employed in 1979. Meanwhile, the number of African-American entrepreneurs increased to 710,000 in 2003, up 2 percent; and self-employed Asian-Americans increased 26 percent, to 590,000.

More information why worker shortages will not go away.


Ira S Wolfe


  1. Ira Wolfe September 5, 2006 at 8:33 pm -

    Technology and the Internet has without question fueled the growth of small business, primarily self-employed. While a small business owner myself, I find myself competing with organizations many times the size of my business. The Internet has not only leveled the playing field but very likely has it leaning toward small independents.
    Thanks for your posts.

  2. September 5, 2006 at 3:41 pm -

    I find these statistics fascinating and am intrigued by this phenomenon and what factors have triggered it. I wonder what impact the availability of online-based businesses has had on the growth of self employment.