(Washington) The economy is gloomy, the future uncertain, but it takes more to discourage Americans: there have been more business start-ups than ever in recent months in the United States, a movement fueled by unemployment massive and easy financing.
“It’s not as surprising as you might think,” John Dearie, president and founder of the Center for American Entrepreneurship, told AFP.
“People are starting businesses because they have lost their jobs. And because they have the money to do it, ”he explains.
Interest rates are indeed at their lowest, the banks inclined to lend, and the level of savings has reached a very high level, in particular thanks to the aid paid by the government.
Between July and September, 1.6 million businesses were born in the country, by far a record. The mark of one million companies created had never been exceeded in a quarter.
” Lauch myself “
In the United States, starting a business is often taken for granted, and entrepreneurship is taught even to the youngest.
“The pandemic has really encouraged young people and adults to start their businesses. The reason is very simple: people have lost their jobs, ”observes JD LaRock, head of Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship, an organization that trains entrepreneurs, especially young people, in twelve countries.
“People see that the world is changing, and that there are new needs”, business concepts respond to them, he explains.
Since the pandemic rocked the economy, he has seen “many, many adults” arrive with a long-standing idea that “they had never had the opportunity or the money to launch” .
This is the case of Leland Lambert, 38 years old. “In the middle of June, I was told that I was going to be made redundant,” the former operations manager of a reception center, who lives in Salt Lake City, in the United States, told AFP. Utah.
When he found out he was going to lose his job, he was finally “pretty happy”. Standing up to the wall, with no prospect of finding a job in the short term, he finally put on track the personal coaching business that had been running through his mind for years.
“I have always dreamed of helping people give the best of themselves […]. But now, I had a job, so I was like “I can think about it in my free time”. And then I lost this job […] so I decided to go for it ”.
To refine his project, Leland Lambert resumed studies for six months, at the end of which he does not rule out having to look for a part-time job if his business does not take off quickly enough.
The crisis had destroyed 22 million jobs in the United States. Half of them have been recreated, but 8.4 million Americans are still unemployed – many are no longer entitled to it, not to mention those who have seen their income drop drastically.
While certain sectors such as catering or tourism are still suffering, setting up a business is sometimes the only way to earn a living.
However, it is difficult to know which sectors have benefited from these creations, as official data does not specify it.
John Dearie mentions in particular activities “in connection with the COVID-19 crisis. For example, food delivery activities ”, via Uber, among others, which asks its drivers and delivery people to create their own business.
All online shopping delivery services – through Amazon, for example, which also requires setting up a business – also have a bright future ahead, says John Haltiwanger, professor of economics at the University of Maryland.
“COVID-19 is accelerating trends already underway in the economy,” he notes, such as the development of online sales and all the activities related to it.
For him, there are thus “a lot of opportunities” to be seized, because “some of these changes will become permanent, and the companies which will facilitate this will, I think, function well”.
A significant portion of the American population is indeed still teleworking, and many students have not yet returned to school.