In October a report was published by international insurance specialist Hiscox that overviewed the survey of entrepreneurs in 6 countries. All of the more than 3000 participants surveyed were small to medium sized business owners or partners from the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, Spain, France and the Netherlands. The report painted a portrait of people who, while enduring many stresses and financial hardships, still have faith in the institution of entrepreneurship and were still more than willing and determined to succeed.
Some of the findings from the report are as follows;
- There is still a lot of optimism out there among the true believers, and many owners are more optimistic than pessimistic about the future despite a rough year. The Dutch were the most optimistic at 61% and the Spanish the least with 28%.
- In 5 out of 6 countries it was reported that the businesses had gained rather than lost customers.
- Germans work, on average, 8 hours more than their counterparts in the United States and the average work-week was almost 43 hours.
- Language skills are still lacking across the board for recent college graduates new-hires.
- 31% of business owners reported that they had endured sleeplessness due to work-related stress, with more women reporting this than men.
- Very few small business owners (22%) sought help from outside their business as far as local and national government bodies were concerned.
- 91% reported that they still thought working in their own small business was better than working for a larger company that they didn’t own.
- Nearly 45% of business owners reported a growth in profit over the last 12 months and nearly 50% in the US.
- The US had the shortest work-week at 39.4 hours per week.
- 30% said that the economic downturn had made them more determined to succeed.
- Motivation among newly recruited graduates was deemed to be at 63%, an all-time high.
Of course this was a survey and its statistics only tell one side of the story but, overall, it seems that even a wildly downturned economy in the US and in Europe has not put out the flame of entrepreneurship. Even as we face even more economic woes here in the States and Europe is simmering and set to boil over the spirit and freedom that sets small business owners apart is still alive and well, even if it has taken a little bit of a beating.