Americans love entrepreneurs - but don't want their children to be them - SmartBrief

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Americans love entrepreneurs — but don’t want their children to be them

2 min read


Have you noticed how much Americans love wildly successful entrepreneurs? Just look at the blogs on leadership and business strategy, and you’re sure to find something about the genius of Steve Jobs or Richard Branson. ” The Social Network,” the blockbuster film about Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, was just announced as a best picture nominee for this year’s Academy Awards.

As much as we revere these big-name entrepreneurs for their huge successes, Americans don’t look highly on entrepreneurship as a career aspiration, according to the findings of the latest figures from the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor. It turns out American parents want their children to pursue success through more certain avenues, such as being a doctor or going into business with a well-established corporation — not by striking out on their own.

But it’s the people who do strike out on their own who will create new jobs and revive the U.S. economy — as well as those around the world — said the researchers who presented the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor 2010 Report last week. The report, in its 12th year,  includes data gathered from 59 countries, including the U.S.

In those countries, there are 250 million people between the ages of 18 and 64 who are working at starting or running new businesses and more than a quarter of them plan to hire at least five employees in the next five years.  More than 10% plan to hire 20 or more people to work in newly created jobs.

Those are impressive numbers, but figures GEM would like to see increase. Moreover, they say government action and support is necessary to encourage entrepreneurial activity. “Governments must encourage those with great ideas to pursue the opportunities they perceive. In so doing, entrepreneurs and governments build a foundation for future jobs,” said Ignacio de la Vega, GEM oversight board member.

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