The Reemergence of American Entrepreneurship in 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic threw countless curveballs at the American workforce. While industries like supermarkets and streaming platforms thrived, others struggled to push through to the other side of the pandemic. But as unemployment rates skyrocketed, so did the entrepreneurial mindset. 

With more time than ever to focus on passion projects, time-passing hobbies, and once far-off dreams, Americans took employment into their own hands. LinkedIn’s latest report revealed new business applications increased by 24% between 2019 and 2020. With entrepreneurship in the US previously in decline–40 years in decline, to be exact–small businesses are making a comeback.

Key Points from LinkedIn

LinkedIn, the world’s largest online professional network, is more than just a platform for posting work-related content. It’s also a great resource for job searchers to find opportunities. According to LinkedIn, more than 40 million people use their site to search for open positions every week. 

With this amount of engagement, LinkedIn is able to easily study and report employer and industry trends. Here are a few key points they found, based on recent data from their platform and the U.S. Census Bureau. 

“Before COVID-19, women were the fastest growing segment of entrepreneurs. In 2019, women-owned businesses grew by 27% year-over-year, while the overall number of new businesses increased by 9%. That trend kept pace despite, or perhaps because of, the pandemic.” 

There’s no denying that women-owned businesses are on the rise. In fact, the popular hashtag #WomenInBusiness has been used in over 17 million posts, just on Instagram alone. And, despite industry-wide obstacles, retail still ranked as the top industry for women-founded companies, growing 81% between July 2018-19 and July 2020-21.

“Real estate proved to be one of the most durable and popular industries for entrepreneurs, with growth topping 25% between the pre-pandemic (July 2018-19) and mid-pandemic periods (July 2020-21).”

Vastly different from the 2008 economic crash, the housing market held strong for the majority of the pandemic. However, other industries such as education, entertainment, and manufacturing all proved to be even stronger, more stable options for entrepreneurs.

Chart downloaded via LinkedIn

“Many [founders] are choosing to settle down and start a business in their new homes, with parts of North and South Carolina, Colorado and Kentucky claiming top spots on our list of fast-growing smaller metro areas for small businesses.”

It’s not just major cities benefiting from the growth of entrepreneurship. Four of the top five areas on LinkedIn’s list of “fast-growing smaller metro areas” have a population of fewer than 600,000 people. This is great news for entrepreneurs hoping to get their business off the ground, even outside of larger metropolitan areas. 

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Whether you’re still dreaming of a storefront or ready to launch your online business, SumUp has the tools you need to succeed. From easy-to-use payment links to affordable card readers, you can feel confident in knowing that SumUp is here to help.

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Ready to learn more about running a small business? Check out other articles in our Small Business Guide.

Carlie Ortiz