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New entrepreneurs are increasingly older, minorities, and immigrants

August 06, 2020

A recent report from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation examined the changing makeup of entrepreneurship over the period of 1996 to 2019, finding that older people, immigrants, and minorities are becoming new entrepreneurs at increasing rates. The report pulls from data collected for the foundation’s Indicators of Early-Stage Entrepreneurship series, and examines the trends in race and ethnicity, age, and immigration among new entrepreneurs.

The report highlights three findings:

  • The share of all new entrepreneurs – broadly defined as any adult who starts a new business who are Latinx doubled between 1996 and 2019. The report also shows that the share of Black and Asian entrepreneurs has grown but at a moderate pace relative to the Latinx population, while the share of all new entrepreneurs who are white decreased over the same period.
  • New entrepreneurs were generally younger in 1996, but were more representative of all age groups in 2019. The data are segmented into four age groups — ages 20-34, 35-44, 45-54, and 55-64. The report indicates that new entrepreneurship among the younger two groups has steadily decreased over the period, while entrepreneurship among the older two groups has increased — equalizing near 25 percent for each age group in 2019.
  • The share of new entrepreneurs who are immigrants doubled from 13 percent in 1996 to approximately 1 in 4 by 2019. However, the share of new entrepreneurs who are immigrants decreased from its peak of 29.8 percent in 2018.