Small Business Startup News

The Happiest Entrepreneurs

Written by Tim Morral
Published: 1/22/2014

Bloomberg Businessweek calls out the shared characteristics of the happiest entrepreneurs on the planet.

Although owning a business can be stressful, entrepreneurs consistently report higher happiness and personal satisfaction levels than individuals who work for in a salaried or hourly wage role for someone else.

Happy Entrepreneur

But who are the happiest entrepreneurs? That's a question Patrick Clark set out to answer in a recent Bloomberg Businessweek report. Citing research from The Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, Clark identified three characteristics that impact the happiness of entrepreneurs around the world.

  • Location. The happiest geographic regions for entrepreneurs are North America and Latin America. Entrepreneurs in sub-Saharan Africa, on the other hand, rank at the bottom of the entrepreneurial happiness scale. However, across all global geographies, the average happiness of both early stage and established entrepreneurs was higher than the happiness levels reported by those who do not engage in entrepreneurial activities.
  • Motivation. Not surprisingly, individuals who become entrepreneurs by choice are happier than those who become entrepreneurs by necessity. As evidence, Clark points to sub-Saharan Africa, a region characterized by low-skilled labor and few natural resources. Although 69 percent of entrepreneurs were optimistic about starting a business, the region also has the world's lowest entrepreneurial happiness rating--which may be a factor of the lack of opportunities beyond entrepreneurial pursuits.
  • Gender. Female entrepreneurs were happier than male entrepreneurs in innovation-driven countries like the U.S. However, Zambia's female entrepreneurs had the second lowest happiness rating of any group studied, revealing a gender gap at both ends of the happiness spectrum.

The risks and rewards for entrepreneurs are well documented and need to be seriously considered before you take the leap into an entrepreneurial career path. But for many aspiring business owners, the benefits of entrepreneurism may be more than just financial--entrepreneurism could be the key to a happier and more satisfying way of life.

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