Business boom: Record numbers of people are starting up new small businesses

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NEW YORK (AP) — Record numbers of people are starting new businesses, and more and more of them are women and minorities, according to a new study.

New business applications jumped in 2020 as the pandemic started, and have continued to be filed at a record pace. More than 5 million applications were filed in 2021 and 2022 and a record 5.5 million new business applications were filed in 2023.

Payroll firm Gusto surveyed 1,300 owners who started their small business last year to discover their characteristics.

Women made up 49% of the new business owners surveyed. That’s in line with the past several years, but up starkly from 2019, when just 29% of new business owners were women.

Still, women do not receive as much interest from investors as men. In 2023, just 3% of women entrepreneurs received a private capital investment to start their business, compared to 9% of male entrepreneurs.

Black entrepreneurs made up 6% of new business owners in 2023, double the 3% rate seen before the pandemic. Hispanic entrepreneurs made up 13% of new owners, compared to 8% last year.

Meanwhile, more businesses are being started as “side hustles,” or businesses that supplement day jobs. Forty-four percent of entrepreneurs who started a new business in 2023 did so while working another job, either part time or full time, up from 27% in 2022.

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