Start-Up Activity Edges Upward As Banks Grow More Willing to Lend

The percentage of job seekers starting their own business rose by 33% over the first half of 2013. But start-up activity still remains low by historic measures.

Global outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas says that just over 4% of job-seeking managers and executives chose to start their own businesses between January and June. That’s up from 3% during the same period last year.

CEO John Challenger credits the growth in start-up activity to banks’ greater willingness to lend. But he says the percentage of job seekers opting for self-employment is still well below where it stood following the 2001 recession.

“It’s not that starting a business is more risky now than usual. Businesses are always risky, starting a new business. The problem has been that people have had a very difficult time getting access to credit to start their businesses. Even the people they might tap normally, friends and family, have less income or risk tolerance available.”

The number of self-employed workers outside the agricultural sector now stands at just over 8.8 million, about ten percent down from its pre-recession peak.

Bio photo of Andrew Schneider

Andrew Schneider

Business Reporter

Andrew Schneider joined KUHF in January 2011, after more than a decade as a print reporter for The Kiplinger Letter...