2021 National Report on Early-Stage Entrepreneurship in the United States

24 Pages Posted: 29 Mar 2022

See all articles by Robert W. Fairlie

Robert W. Fairlie

UCLA; National Bureau of Economic Research

Date Written: March 1, 2022


The Kauffman Indicators of Early-Stage Entrepreneurship is a set of measures that represents new business creation in the United States, integrating several high-quality, timely sources of information on early-stage entrepreneurship.

This report presents four indicators that track early-stage entrepreneurship for the years 1996–2021: rate of new entrepreneurs reflects the number of new entrepreneurs in a given month, opportunity share of new entrepreneurs is the percentage of new entrepreneurs who created their businesses out of opportunity instead of necessity, startup early job creation is the total number of jobs created by startups per capita, and startup early survival rate is the one-year average survival rate for new firms. We report national trends for the four indicators as well as some demographic trends for the rate of new entrepreneurs and opportunity share of new entrepreneurs.

The rate of new entrepreneurs was lower in 2021 than in 2020 but higher than in pre-pandemic 2019, reflecting more transitions into entrepreneurial activity, broadly defined, among the population during pandemic conditions. At the same time, the opportunity share of this activity increased from 2020 when it was at its lowest level in at least 25 years, indicating that many of these transitions were undertaken by people with few other options for economic engagement.

The rebound from the widespread economic damage of the COVID-19 pandemic showed up through a partial return to pre-pandemic levels in both new entrepreneurial activity and the opportunity share of new entrepreneurs.

Keywords: entrepreneurship, pandemic, COVID, economy, activity, entrepreneur

Suggested Citation

Fairlie, Robert W., 2021 National Report on Early-Stage Entrepreneurship in the United States (March 1, 2022). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4061122 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4061122

Robert W. Fairlie (Contact Author)

UCLA ( email )

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Box 951361
Los Angeles, CA 90095
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research ( email )

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.nber.org/people/robert_fairlie?page=1&perPage=50

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