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Survey: Unemployment spurring entrepreneurship – Baltimore Business Journal

July 24th, 2010 16 Comments » Filed under Acknowledgement

The long-term unemployed aren’t just twiddling their thumbs: They’re turning into entrepreneurs.

A survey put out by found out that 26 percent of workers who have been unemployed for six months or longer are considering starting their own business. The survey was conducted by market research firm Harris Interactive and polled about 4,500 people nationally, both employed and unemployed.

Maryland Chamber CEO Kathy Snyder says getting an influx of inquiries from people wanting to start their own business.

The numbers don’t surprise Maryland Chamber of Commerce President Kathleen Snyder, who said she’s been getting frequent phone calls and letters from unemployed people seeking advice on how to run their own shop. The large number of highly educated professionals in Maryland makes the state ripe for entrepreneurship, especially in the tech industry, Snyder said.

William Dunkelberg, chief economist for the National Federation of Independent Businesses, coined the phenomenon a “negative push start.”

That means people who had considered starting a business in the past — but didn’t want to leave stable employment to do so — are “pushed” into start-ups after being laid off, with (hopefully) a severance package in hand for initial capital and not as much to lose.

While the NFIB has not conducted recent formal research on unemployment’s relation to entrepreneurship, in the past NFIB has observed more people indulging their entrepreneurial spirit during times of high unemployment, Dunkelberg said.

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