Survey: Entrepreneurial Optimism Is Rising Worldwide



Feeling the entrepreneurial energy yet? Looks like it’s escalating globally, if the figures from EO – the Entrepreneurs’ Organisation – are any indication. The organization, which is comprised of some 9,500 entrepreneurs worldwide, has just released the latest findings from its twice-yearly Global Entrepreneur Indicator, a survey that confirms that optimism is on the rise everywhere from North America through to the Middle East, and all points in between.

More than 5,500 entrepreneurs, with businesses averaging US$59.7 million in annual revenue and employing an average of 232 people, took part in the survey. Here are some of the findings:

  • 55% of the EO entrepreneurs have added full-time jobs in the past six months.
  • In the coming six months, 67% of entrepreneurs are expecting to create full-time jobs.
  • 81% of entrepreneurs expect profit margins to increase over the next six months, while 84% expressed a willingness to start a new business.
  • Only 11% of entrepreneurial firms have cut jobs over the last reporting period.

Sensing the energy now? Nine out of 10 entrepreneurs in the US and South Asia reported either having created full-time jobs or experienced no change in their workforce. US companies, the survey reveals, are also the most bullish when it comes to jobs growth projections over the coming six months, with many, no doubt, looking towards increasing exports and finances in this more optimistic of climates.

The formal launch earlier this year of the Middle East Commercial Center (MECC), a US Chamber of Commerce-backed initiative involving more than 300 business leaders and government officials from nearly 20 countries, may have something to do with it. This private sector-led alliance aims to promote greater trade and investment to address economic challenges and opportunities across the Middle East. MECC represents business and trade organizations, American Chambers of Commerce abroad, national chambers of commerce and industry, and major companies.

During two days of meetings at the Dead Sea, Jordan, the group identified concrete steps to guide the organization moving forward. As a “coalition of action,” MECC aims to advance projects and promote public policies that will contribute to more regional economic integration and increased foreign investment.

The group will initially focus on a limited number of pressing economic and strategic issues through task forces focused on movement of goods and market access, national resource cooperation, special economic zones, and entrepreneurship development. More broadly, it will address a number of key sectors in a regional context, including finance and development, health care, education, regional tourism, and women in business.

Myron Brilliant, the US Chamber’s executive vice president and head of international affairs, said at the time of the launch, “Through the MECC, we are taking a new approach in this region and looking for those things that bring us together. We are overcoming obstacles and building a more economically integrated Middle East.”

International trade and investment is a key component of the Chamber’s 2014 American Jobs, Growth, and Opportunity Agenda, an ambitious plan to generate stronger economic growth, create jobs, and expand opportunity for all Americans.

Image credit: CC by Quinn Dombrowski

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