Increased global confidence boosts entrepreneurs’ hiring plans

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  • 76% of entrepreneurs plan to hire this year, compared with 31% of CEOs running large corporates
  • Technology is driving global job creation and opening up talent pool
  • Entrepreneurs in EMEIA most confident and likely to hire from abroad

Singapore, 4 June 2014 Seventy-six percent of the world’s top entrepreneurs plan to increase the size of their workforce in the year ahead by an average of 19%, largely driven by growing global demand for goods and services and technological advances. This is according to the third EY Global Job Creation Survey of nearly 250 EY World Entrepreneur of the Year (WEOY) finalists since 2000, released today to coincide with the WEOY Awards 2014, taking place this week in Monaco.

Entrepreneurs driving global job creation

When compared with CEO’s of large corporates, entrepreneurs are taking a more active role in global job creation according to a recent EY study, the EY Capital confidence barometer [see notes]. In this, only 31% of CEO’s surveyed said they intend to hire in the next year, with the analysis suggesting this reticence is driven by geopolitical concerns and cost cutting pressure from activist shareholders. 

In contrast, respondents to the Global Job Creation Survey say the main driver for hiring at home (selected by 88%) is a desire to make the most of a growing market for goods and services – with 61% of entrepreneurs confident in their home market’s prospects. The second biggest driver of employment is the improvements that technology and innovation have brought to companies.

Maria Pinelli, EY’s Global Vice Chair, Strategic Growth Markets says: “The results of our annual survey relay a consistent message – that entrepreneurs, as key drivers of innovation in the global economy, are job creators and are far less risk averse when it comes to employing new people than CEOs of larger companies.”

Technology creating jobs and opening up global talent pool

Technology has emerged as a key driver of job creation among entrepreneurs, with over half (51%) agreeing that investments made in technology have changed their workforce, with 8 in 10 of these (81%) saying it’s led them to hire. The survey shows that this is driven by the increased cost competitiveness technology brings (53%), and by technology and mobile working opening up a greater and more skilled pool of workers,  with 55% of entrepreneurs planning to hire from outside of their country – compared to 44% in the previous two years.

Maria continues: “Far from technology reducing jobs, there is every indication it is creating employment opportunities within entrepreneurial companies, as entrepreneurs take advantage of strong economic fundamentals and increased efficiency to invest in their businesses.

“Entrepreneurs are increasingly global in their outlook and are exploiting the opportunities that technology brings them to tap the global talent pool and address skills shortages in their home market this way. This is in large part due to technology enabling mobile working, something that, according to our survey, women entrepreneurs are especially likely to see as a significant trend.”

Entry level jobs on the rise

When looking at who was hired by entrepreneurs in 2013, there has been a shift towards hiring at the entry level. Fewer “experienced non-management” were hired in 2013 than in 2011 or 2012, while jobs at the entry level, especially those requiring a degree or advanced degrees were up on the last two years. Entry level roles that don’t require a degree held steady. 

“Entrepreneurs have a key role to play in driving global economic growth and job creation thanks to their dynamism, nimbleness and ability to spot opportunities for growth. This survey shows they’re living up to expectations. Not only do 7 in 10 entrepreneurs plan to hire, but many say they will do so abroad in order to grow their markets, showing the global mindset of an entrepreneur. Encouragingly, many are seeking entry level employees, something which bodes well for the world’s youth, both skilled and unskilled” adds Maria. 

Entrepreneurs in EMEIA most confident about global economic prospects

Confidence in the global economy is strong, with 47% confident, very or extremely confident and 46% somewhat confident. Entrepreneurs in EMEIA (Europe, Middle East, India and Africa) are the most confident about the global economy (with 63% confident, very or extremely confident), and are also the most likely to tap into the global workforce, with 65% saying they WIll hire from overseas, compared with 53% in the Americas, 33% in Asia-Pacific and 52% globally. Meanwhile, Entrepreneurs in Asia-Pacific are keenest to hire in order to expand into overseas markets (58%), followed by EMEIA (54%) and the US (46%).

“As the global economic recovery takes hold, entrepreneurs from all regions are looking to hire. In EMEIA there appears a real appetite to tap into skills available overseas, perhaps in response to skills shortages at home. This and the ease of hiring globally is something for governments in the region to consider if they are to stay ahead of the global race for talent,” concludes Maria. 


Notes to Editors

About EY Global Job Creation Survey

The EY Global job creation survey is the third annual survey into the views of previous finalists of the EY World Entrepreneur of the Year program that started in 2000. 243 entrepreneurs were surveyed in April 2014.

About the EY Capital confidence barometer

The EY Capital confidence barometer is a survey of 1600 senior executives from large companies around the world and across industry sectors. The objective of the Barometer is to gauge corporate confidence in the economic outlook, to understand boardroom priorities in the next 12 months, and to identify the emerging capital practices that will distinguish those companies that will build competitive advantage as the global economy continues to evolve. This is the tenth bi-annual Barometer in the series, which began in November 2009.

About EY’s Strategic Growth Markets Network

EY’s worldwide Strategic Growth Markets Network is dedicated to serving the changing needs of rapid-growth companies. For more than 30 years, we’ve helped many of the world’s most dynamic and ambitious companies grow into market leaders. Whether working with international mid-cap companies or early stage venture-backed businesses, our professionals draw upon their extensive experience, insight and global resources to help your business achieve its potential. It’s how EY makes a difference.

About EY

EY is a global leader in assurance, tax, transaction and advisory services. The insights and quality services we deliver help build trust and confidence in the capital markets and in economies the world over. We develop outstanding leaders who team to deliver on our promises to all of our stakeholders. In so doing, we play a critical role in building a better working world for our people, for our clients and for our communities.

EY refers to the global organization, and may refer to one or more, of the member firms of Ernst & Young Global Limited, each of which is a separate legal entity. Ernst & Young Global Limited, a UK company limited by guarantee, does not provide services to clients. For more information about our organization, please visit

This news release has been issued by EYGM Limited, a member of the global EY organization that also does not provide any services to clients.

About World Entrepreneur Of The Year

EY World Entrepreneur Of The Year® is the world’s most prestigious business award for entrepreneurs. The unique award makes a difference through the way it encourages entrepreneurial activity among those with potential, and recognizes the contribution of people who inspire others with their vision, leadership and achievement. As the first and only truly global award of its kind, Entrepreneur Of The Year celebrates those who are building and leading successful, growing and dynamic businesses, recognizing them through regional, national and global awards programs in 145 cities in 60 countries.