Entrepreneurs continue to create jobs. And optimism.
"If you think you can, or you think you can't, either way you are right."
Ford's words are as true for today's entrepreneurs as they were to Ford himself almost one hundred years ago. Optimism, as well as pessimism, is a mindset. And according to EY's 2015 Global Job Creation and Youth Entrepreneurship Survey, optimism is winning: entrepreneurs are leading job creation globally, with 47% of entrepreneurs expecting to increase their total global workforce this year.
The fourth annual report, from the EY Global Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, surveyed 201 past Entrepreneur Of The Year winners* about their hiring plans and economic confidence.
Additionally, we polled another 2,000+ innovative entrepreneurs* from around the globe. These respondents bring a point of view from a broad and diverse range of emerging country economies, including key global growth drivers such as India, China and Brazil.
Expanded scope includes the aspirations of youth
In this year's report, we went even deeper. With global youth unemployment at a near crisis point, we wanted to know what younger people were thinking and feeling about the future.
So in part two of the survey, we present finding from 2,807 young people, aged 18-25.**
We asked about their career aspirations to find out how entrepreneurship fits into their plans. The research, conducted online, captures the real-time views and ambitions of young people in education or actively engaged in the job market.
What the job creation survey found
- Job creation – the world's economic lifeblood – remains in good hands. Seventy-seven percent of our roster of the world's most dynamic entrepreneurs – EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ winners from more than 60 countries – expect to increase their total global workforce in 2015 (up one percentage point from 2014). This is considerably higher than the 47% figure from the rest of the world's entrepreneurs we added to the survey size this year.
- Entrepreneurs have greater expectations regarding their hiring than do their larger counterparts. Noteworthy as well is a comparison to another report, the April 2015 EY Capital Confidence Barometer, which tracks job creation in large, global public and privately held companies in 54 countries. That report showed that only 29% of 1,600 senior executives surveyed indicate they expect to create jobs or hire new talent in the next 12 months.
- Good spirits run high. Confidence in both domestic and global economic prospects remains relatively buoyant, with 71% of global entrepreneurs surveyed feeling optimistic about the economic direction of their domestic market. Sixty-six percent feel good about the economic direction of the global economy on the whole.
This further indicates the boon of entrepreneurial activity in rapid-growth markets as the self-starters move from necessity (creating jobs and businesses where none exist) to opportunity.
This means that rapid-growth markets are beginning to see their fair share of high-impact entrepreneurs as well. For example, recent EY World Entrepreneur Of The Year™ winners have come from:
- India: Uday Kotak, Kotak Mahindra
- Kenya: James Mwangi, Equity Bank Limited
- Singapore: Olivia Lum, Hyflux Limited
- China: Cho Tak Wong, Fuyao Glass Industry Group
Entrepreneurs lend youth a hand
There is much debate today in developed markets over whether the next generation has the right skills to compete in a complex business world. Our survey shows that entrepreneurs aren't ignoring any skills challenges they see in youth – nor the wider threat that youth unemployment poses to the global economy.
In fact, we see entrepreneurs working hard to raise youth employment levels in their local markets and taking steps to provide the right training and opportunities for young people.
Great expectations for the world's youth
In part two of EY's 2015 Global Job Creation and Youth Entrepreneurship Survey, we asked the world's young people what they have to say about their future.
Despite a global youth employment landscape that can appear statistically bleak, the survey results were pleasantly surprising. We found optimism among young people when it comes to fulfilling their career aspirations: 84% of the 2800+ young people surveyed were either very or quite optimistic about their career outlook.
Optimism is a key factor
High aspirations and having an entrepreneurial dream plays out in a very real fashion as the majority of respondents tell us they have faith in their ability to create their own destiny.
- 65% of young people tell us they want to run their own business, 27% immediately and 38% after first learning from/working for someone else.
- 87% of young men are confident they will achieve their aspirations
- 83% of young women weighed in with equal ambitions – a strikingly close number given the low ratio of women leaders to male leaders in today's corporate world. But a global, interconnected marketplace provides increased opportunities for entrepreneurs – and this finding shows the world's young women believe it true for themselves as well.
Looking up to those that have "been there/done that"
As further testament to how grounded our young people's entrepreneurial aspirations are — nine out of 10 of our respondents have taken action. They say they have started to explore their ideas or ambitions by researching, talking to others or seeking advice in some way.
And these young people are counting on their older, more experienced counterparts. They see them as important resources, providing guidance and support which are vital in helping them fulfill their own ambitions.
Full steam ahead! Let's watch as entrepreneurs and global youth together show us a path to a bright future.
*201 of the world's most dynamic entrepreneurs – EY Entrepreneur Of The Year winners – represent the vanguard of a select, proven and influential global community. The highest respondent rate came from the US, Canada, Australia, the UK, the Czech Republic and France.
*2,144 global entrepreneurs – an independent sample that comprises 2,000 in Germany, China, India, France, Brazil, Japan, Australia, Canada and 100+ in the UK, the US, Sub Saharan Africa (SSA), the Middle East/North Africa (MENA) and Mexico.
***2,807 young people – an independent sample of 2,500 in the UK, US, Germany, China, India, France, Brazil, Australia, Canada and 100+ in SSA, MENA and Mexico.