Report

The Age of the Entrepreneur

17% of American workers make their main income from self-employment. But we realized something: we don’t have a clear picture of what life’s really like for the that 17%. So, we ran a study.

People working

The Age of the Entrepreneur dives into the highs and lows of owning a small business, from motivations to money, bookkeeping to bottlenecks. If you’ve ever wondered who’s doing what and how your business compares to the average, this report’s for you.

Who we talked to and what they do

We surveyed 1,005 small business owners to get a clearer view of what small business life is like. Here’s how we broke that group down:

Graph of age breakdown

Here are the business types of entrepreneurs we talked to:

graph of business types
Report cover

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Report at a glance

What motivates small business owners? How do their expectations of entrepreneurship stack up against reality? And how well do they understand the financial side of their business? Here’s a peek at what’s inside the free report.

60% of entrepreneurs say “easy money” is the biggest myth about running a business

One theme spanned across all generations: when it comes to starting a business, motivations don’t line up with reality.

Graph of myths about starting a business

56% of entrepreneurs started a business so they could be their own boss

An appetite for control is the most significant factor in entrepreneurs’ decision to strike out on their own. The really interesting part? 56% of entrepreneurs also say having “unlimited freedom” is a common myth about running a business.

Graph of why they started a business

Chart of gaps in their financial understanding

Only 30% of business owners feel they have a very good grasp on their finances

One big takeaway: 70% of entrepreneurs admit to having gaps in their financial understanding. That’s a lot of small business owners in the dark.

Graph displaying half of a bee

46% of entrepreneurs would rather get stung by a bee than do a month of bookkeeping.

Ouch. Small business owners have a hate-hate relationship with their bookkeeping.

Man climbing a book

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Learn who outsources what, where entrepreneurs feel the most pressure, and the common experiences of 2.5 million small business owners. Entrepreneurs across North America are doing things differently—see how your business stacks up.