It's popular right now to talk about small business and job creation. I'm currently watching the presidential debates and both candidates are hanging their hats on job growth and the growth of small businesses. Small businesses create more jobs per revenue dollar than large businesses BUT entrepreneurship is on a 30 year decline. Yes, I'm not kidding.
The baby boom generation was indeed a generation of small business growth but "generation x", the generation after the boomers, has seen a drop of 20 percent in self-employment between 1991 and 2000. The number of entrepreneurs overall has dropped by 53 percent between 1977 and 2010.
The following report by the New America Foundation is eye popping and counters common perceptions on America and entrepreneurship. It follows 1) Fewer New Firms, 2) Fewer New Establishments, 3) Falling Rates of Self-Employment, 4) The Rise of the Contingent Worker, and 5) Outsourcing Mistaken for Entrepreneurship.
Its worth taking the time to read through the research. Out of Business, Measuring the Decline of American Entrepreneurship, by New America Foundation.