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Start-Up Activity Rebounds To Highest Level Since 2009

The percentage of former executives starting their own businesses reached a post-recession high in 2013. That's according to a new survey by global outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas.


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On average, 5.5% of jobless managers and executives started their own businesses each quarter last year. That’s nearly a third more than did so in 2012.

CEO John Challenger says the recession brought start-up activity among job seekers to some of the lowest levels on record.

“Looks like the environment has continued to improve. Interest rates are still low. Banks are a little bit more willing to lend. But even more, people now are more confident that they can take the risk of going out and starting a business. If it doesn’t work out, they can go back and find a job, so they’re not hunkered down in the jobs that they’ve been in, just not wanting to take the risk, and they’re also more optimistic about the potential for the business to succeed.”

Challenger says that more than 80% of those starting businesses in 2013 were older than 40. Nearly one in four of those launching a start-up was 55 or older.

percentage of job seekers starting own business graph

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Andrew Schneider

Andrew Schneider

Politics and Government Reporter

Andrew Schneider is the senior reporter for politics and government at Houston Public Media, NPR's affiliate station in Houston, Texas. In this capacity, he heads the station's coverage of national, state, and local elections. He also reports on major policy issues before the Texas Legislature and county and city governments...

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