Startup Culture

Don’t Worry, Be a Happy Entrepreneur

Bobby McFerrin, the original evangelist of the "Don't Worry, Be Happy" gospel. (Image via Shutterstock)

Bobby McFerrin, the original evangelist of the “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” gospel. (Image via Shutterstock)

In terms of satisfaction with their work lives, entrepreneurs are some of the happiest people on the planet, according to a report put out last week by the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor. The finding was a part of GEM’s 2013 Global Report, which examined the special topic of Entrepreneurship and Well-Being.

“One interesting finding is that in all regions, entrepreneurs exhibit relatively higher rates of subjective well-being in comparison to individuals who are not involved in the process of starting a business or owning-managing a business,” the report’s co-author, José Ernesto Amorós, said in a statement. Amorós is the director of the Global Entrepreneurship Research Center at the University of Desarrollo in Santiago, Chile.

To assess entrepreneurial happiness, the study surveyed more than 197,000 individuals from 70 economies, and nearly 3,800 experts from around the world. The resulting survey sample represents every global region, and about 75 percent of the world’s population. The reported correlation between entrepreneurial activity and personal well-being indicates starting a business is a promising career move and more people ought to consider it when weighing their work options.

But the report also found that individual perceptions of entrepreneurship are influenced, not surprisingly, by demographic factors, including people’s geographic, economic, social, and cultural backgrounds, and not everyone sees entrepreneurship in such a positive light. Those who start businesses out of pure necessity are less likely to feel fulfilled by them. In addition, people from the European Union are less likely to view entrepreneurship as a good career choice than those from Latin America and the Caribbean, the Middle East and North Africa, and Sub-Saharan Africa, who more often associate entrepreneurial work with opportunity and heightened social status.

Another notable finding of GEM’s study revealed that female entrepreneurs from innovation-driven regions like East Asia and North America exhibit higher rates of personal well-being than male entrepreneurs, suggesting that by cultivating a more gender-balanced environment of entrepreneurship, we could boost happiness levels across society.

Tags: , ,