PROTECTING SMALL BUSINESS, PROMOTING ENTREPRENEURSHIP

Shopify-Gallup Survey: Most Americans Desire to “Be Their Own Boss”

By at 12 June, 2024, 11:11 am

by Raymond J. Keating –

The U.S. long has benefited from being the Land of Entrepreneurship. Data over the past roughly 18 years, however, has raised questions about diminishing entrepreneurship in America. Therefore, a new poll from Shopify-Gallup is encouraging in far as it shows that a solid majority of Americans still want to be their own boss.

Specifically, 62 percent of Americans would prefer to be their own boss versus 35 percent who would prefer to work as an employee for someone else.

And among that 62 percent who prefer being their own boss, 14 percent would accept a great deal of financial risk to be their own boss, with another 38 percent willing to accept a “fair amount” of financial risk.

So, if we take this 52 percent (14 percent plus 38 percent) and apply it to the 62 percent preferring to be their own boss, we arrive at 32 percent of adults wanting to be their own boss and having a realistic assessment or acceptance of the financial risk involved.

Why Be Your Own Boss?

As for the most important reasons for having one’s own business, the top four reasons were the same for current business owners and for aspiring entrepreneurs.

Among existing business owners, 57 percent said being your own boss, 54 percent an opportunity to earn more money, 42 percent a more flexible work schedule, and 30 percent to pursue a passion project. As for aspiring entrepreneurs, 60 percent said being your own boss, 60 percent an opportunity to earn more money, 45 percent a more flexible work schedule, and 45 percent to pursue a passion project.

Most Helpful Resources

As for key resources to start a business, existing entrepreneurs unsurprisingly cited experience in the industry (60 percent), encouragement from people they know (57 percent), and personal savings for the venture (45 percent). This ranking, with different percentages, largely lines up with aspiring entrepreneurs as well: encouragement from people they know (55 percent), experience in the industry (50 percent), and personal savings for the venture (32 percent).

Top Challenges

As a final point to highlight: the top challenges for becoming one’s own boss again are the same for current and aspiring entrepreneurs. That is, lack of money needed to start a business cited by 60 percent of aspiring entrepreneurs and 30 percent of current business owners, and personal financial risks noted by 50 percent of aspiring entrepreneurs and 40 percent of existing business owners. (See chart above from the report.)

There’s more to digest in the Shopify-Gallup report. Check it out.

Raymond J. Keating is chief economist for the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council. His latest books on the economy are The Weekly Economist: 52 Quick Reads to Help You Think Like an Economist, The Weekly Economist II: 52 More Quick Reads to Help You Think Like an Economist and The Weekly Economist III: Another 52 Quick Reads to Help You Think Like an Economist.

 

 

News and Media Releases