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Entrepreneurs more likely to hire than established firms

Entrepreneurs are far more likely to take on extra staff this year than executives of large corporates, according to a major global survey.

The study points towards entrepreneurs assuming a more prominent place at the forefront of the global economic recovery with 47% of the 2,345 surveyed eyeing bigger workforces before the year is out, compared to 29% of large corporates’ senior executives.

“The global economy is on the road to sustained recovery but growth is slow,” EY chief executive Mark Weinberger said.

“Entrepreneurs continue to defy global trends in their levels of economic confidence and plans for workforce expansion, and this survey clearly shows that,” he said.

The Ernst & Young survey shows entrepreneurs have had a dramatic uptick in positive sentiment toward the economy, with 71% reporting confidence in the economic direction of their domestic market and 66% confident in the economic direction of the global economy. The latter compares to 46% in the 2014 survey.

Developing economies such as China (95%); India (90%) and those in the Middle East and north Africa (90%) are by far the most optimistic with regard to the direction in which the global market is moving.

In contrast, some developed Western economies are far less enthusiastic with business leaders in France (52%); Australia (51%) and Japan (49%) among the least optimistic.

Despite rising confidence, entrepreneurs are mindful of risks, citing negative market conditions as the top perceived business threat (31%), suggesting global instability is still on the radar of the world’s businesses.