New businesses may not be fueling our economic recovery—although June's lousy jobs report shows older businesses aren't either—but they provide a much-needed bright spot for new college graduates looking for a job in this sputtering market. Many of the employees hired at startups are in their twenties, even those hired for non-programming positions. "That's often where the [cultural] fit is," Mayernick says. "It's really important to founders that that kind of enthusiasm and energy that a founder may have is part of the culture."
Sometimes, the new graduate is the founder, a concept that entrepreneur Scott Gerber works to encourage. "Job numbers are terrible [and] youth employment especially is in the toilet," says Gerber, founder of a new organization called The Young Entrepreneur Council. "There needs to be some other way of creating an income."
Yet while self-employment has a new appeal in the wake of a layoff-filled recession, entrepreneurs often work alone, which doesn't create jobs. A previous Kauffman report showed that while more people became self-employed in 2010 than during each year over the last 15 years, many of those entrepreneurs did not hire employees.
Today, a new business starts with an average of 4.9 jobs, the foundation reports, far lower than the average of 7.5 employees startups had at launch in the 1990s.