Small Business Strikes Back: The Numbers Behind The Next 1000

16 Feb 2021


In 2020, American venture capitalists invested an unprecedented $156 billion dollars into 12,254 startups, setting records in biotech, pharma and fintech. There were a record 454 initial offerings in the U.S. markets, generating over $167 billion.

But pull out a map, and you’ll see a country full of small-scale entrepreneurs who don’t have access to venture funding or Silicon Valley’s unicorn factory. According to the Kauffman Foundation, 89% of U.S. small businesses are either sole proprietorships or have less than 20 full-time employees. 

The majority (83%) are funded from savings, credit cards, and loans from family or friends, with approximately $80,000 in startup capital for men and $54,000 for women. For people of color, the situation is even more extreme. Over 88% of Black-owned businesses, for instance, are one-person shops, according to the latest data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

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