- Millions of Americans have started their own businesses in recent years.
- Insider previously spoke with four of them and learned how they made this major life change.
- They shared their stories, as well as the advice they have for aspiring entrepreneurs.
As the New Year approaches, many people are taking stock of their jobs and making career goals for the future. Some may decide to join the millions of US workers who have started businesses of their own in recent years.
Americans filed over five million new business applications in 2021, the most since 2005. As of June, 16.8 million US workers were self-employed, accounting for over 10% of the workforce — the highest share since 2008.
Experts have pointed to several potential explanations for the spike in self-employment. As millions of people lost their jobs during the beginning of the pandemic, some Americans in need of work decided to start their own businesses. Others have wagered it is their best shot at getting ahead financially as their inflation-adjusted earnings declined.
If a recession comes next year, even more Americans could turn to self-employment. It’s historically ticked up during economic downturns as layoffs, for instance, force people to find a different way to provide for themselves and their families.
Insider previously spoke with four Americans who started their own businesses over the last few years. They shared their stories, as well as the advice they have for others hoping to follow in their footsteps.