To all who have completed an EPOP Survey…

Thank You!

Thank you for participating in this research study to expand our understanding about business ownership and self-employment across the U.S.  Thank you for sharing your honest, first-hand experiences about your unique experiences with and attitudes about owning a business or being self-employed.

Each EPOP survey cycle, over 30,000 individuals complete the EPOP Survey and allow us to represent the wide, rich, and diverse spectrum of work and entrepreneurship experiences throughout the country. The EPOP data results in a true and accurate picture of business ownership and self-employment in America.

From current and former business owners, we are gaining valuable insights into the entrepreneurial journey--start-up challenges, day-to-day operations, reasons for opening and closing businesses, sources of capital, future plans, and more. 


Some specific results we learned from you include:

  • Men and women are equally likely to say they plan to open a business.  Yet actual business ownership is more common among men than women.
  • Business ownership is highest among black individuals, then Hispanic, and is lowest for white individuals.
  • Gig workers are more likely than non-gig workers to participate in other entrepreneurial activities like owning a business or freelancing.
  • The top reasons for starting businesses are to acquire flexible hours, a balance between work and family, and the opportunity for greater income.
  • The top reasons for closing businesses are burn out, a major disruptive life event, and the economy.
  • Over a third of survey participants considered starting a business at some point but ultimately changed their mind. The top reasons they stopped pursuing their business ideas are concern about risk, loss of interest, lack of time, and lack of financial resources.

The EPOP Survey data reported by you and others enables business development organizations and state and local communities to make more informed decisions about business ownership, freelancing, and related work. This research is designed to help drive improvements--supportive programs and policies as well as funding and resources—to benefit entrepreneurs and their communities.  Thank you again for contributing to this meaningful enterprise!