Thursday, April 19, 2007

The American Dream

Starting your own business is tantamount to the American dream for a good number of citizens and immigrants living in the United States, or elsewhere for that matter. The idea that you can work hard, save some money, start your own business, be your own boss, and create new opportunities for your children and family, seems to have a universal appeal. This appeal, of course, is mitigated by the reality of the risk involved. According to the Small Business Administration (SBA) "two-thirds of new employer establishments survive at least two years, and 44 percent survive at least four years." The bright side, of course, is that I had always head that it was 50 percent of small businesses failing in the first year and 95 percent failing within five years.

Some interesting statistics on small businesses in the United States, defined by the SBA as independent businesses with fewer than 500 employees:

Small firms
- Represent 99.7 percent of all employer firms
- Employ half of all private sector employees
- Pay more than 45 percent of total U.S. private payroll
- Have generated 60 to 80 percent of net new jobs annually over the last decade
- Create more than 50 percent of non-farm private gross domestic product (GDP)
- Are 53 percent home-based and 3 percent franchises

For more interesting facts, see:

Tuesday, April 17, 2007


entrepreneur (plural entrepreneurs)

  1. A person who takes the risk of turning an opportunity into profit.
  2. A person who takes the risk of managing and operating a business or businesses; term often used: a. for one who does this for one or more businesses that he or she entirely or largely helps to create; b. for one who takes on ownership, or significant ownership, of one or more business franchises.
  3. A person who creates one or more new nonprofit organizations, or one or more units of such organizations, and often has a key part in managing and operating the new entity or entities. Such a person is sometimes referred to as a nonprofit entrepreneur or not-for-profit entrepreneur, and occasionally as a public entrepreneur.
  4. A person who is talented or prolific at developing new programs inside existing organizations.


to moonlight (third-person singular simple present moonlights, present participle moonlighting, simple past moonlighted, past participle moonlighted)
  1. to work at a secondary job, usually in the evening or during the night.