In an ever-more interconnected world, the global business is a dynamic tableau, vibrant with data and statistics that tell the tale of economies intertwining, markets expanding, and businesses reaching across borders with unprecedented agility. The pulse of international commerce can be measured by meticulously examining global business statistics, offering a lens to peer into the complexities of trade flows, investment patterns, and economic growth.

Understanding global business statistics is not merely an academic pursuit—it is an essential compass for navigating the complex waters of international commerce. Whether you are a seasoned economist, a policy shaper, a business strategist, or simply a curious observer of the global marketplace, these statistics provide essential insights into the forces driving economic transformation around the planet.

This article will dive deep into the ocean of numbers that define global business today. From the shifting sands of emerging markets to the established powerhouses of commerce, we will explore the latest statistical milestones, decode their implications, and tease out the trends shaping the future of international trade and investment. So, let’s hop into it.

General SME Statistics

Navigating the data: a comprehensive overview of global business statistics

Number of Entrepreneurs Worldwide

The number of entrepreneurs worldwide is an integral part of the global business landscape. These individuals, who have taken the bold step to start their businesses, are key contributors to innovation, job creation, and economic growth. Let’s delve into the statistics.

Number of Entrepreneurs Worldwide

The number of entrepreneurs worldwide is an integral part of the global business landscape. These individuals, who have taken the bold step to start their businesses, are key contributors to innovation, job creation, and economic growth. Let’s delve into the statistics.

Global Business Statistics
YearNumber of Entrepreneurs (in millions)

According to the 2019 Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) report, there has been a steady increase in the number of entrepreneurs worldwide. It is important to note that a whopping 90% of these entrepreneurs are self-made.

This statistic not only emphasises the significant role of entrepreneurship in the current world but also highlights the potential for financial freedom it often brings. As we look at the data, we can see a clear trend of growth, indicating the increasing relevance and impact of entrepreneurship globally.

Percentage of small businesses in global companies

The global business landscape is significantly made up of small businesses. According to the World Bank, small as well as medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) constitute a staggering 90% of all businesses globally. This shows the sheer influence and impact these businesses have on the global economy. Here is a table illustrating these statistics.

Percentage of SMEs in global businesses90%
Percentage of SMEs in U.S businesses99.9%
Percentage of jobs provided by SMEs globally50%
Percentage of jobs provided by SMEs in most OECD countries60-70%
Number of exporting small businesses1.3 million

These figures highlight the importance of small businesses in the global economy. They provide a critical backbone for employment, economic growth, and development.

Number of Companies Worldwide

Worldwide, the number of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) is shocking. According to the World Bank, in 2021, there were an estimated 332.99 million SMEs globally. They make up over 90% of the global business population, playing a pivotal role in both developed and developing economies.

RegionNumber of SMEs (Millions)
North America30.2
Latin America26.6
Middle East16.9

This table shows the distribution of SMEs across different regions. Each of these SMEs contributes significantly to their respective economies, with all of them being responsible for more than 50% of employment worldwide.

In the United States, for instance, small businesses employ 61.7 million workers, accounting for 46.4% of the total workforce. Over in the UK, SMEs constitute 99% of all businesses, totalling a hefty 5.5 million. It is clear that these enterprises, employing fewer than 250 individuals, are the backbone of economies worldwide.

Percentage of Small businesses Starting at Home

A lot of small businesses start at home. In fact, about half do so! That is a huge number, but it does not stop here, though. Around 69% of people with new business ideas also kick off from their homes. This just shows how well one can manage a startup from the comfort of their home office setup.

These work-from-home companies are often driven by those who love being self-employed and enjoy the thrill that running personal ventures brings. So, if you are thinking of starting your own business, know that it is entirely possible to do it right from your living room!

Reasons for Starting a Business

There are many reasons why people start a business. Here are some of them:

  1. They want to be their own boss: For most people, having control over their lives is very important.
  2. They see a chance to make more money: Some folks spot an open space in the market. They think filling the gap will earn them profit.
  3. They want to fix a problem: Some businesses come from an idea about how to solve a problem better than others.
  4. They wish to chase their passion: A lot of entrepreneurs start businesses around things they love to do.
  5. They desire flexibility: Starting a business can give owners more freedom and control over their time.
  6. They seek job security: Owning a business may offer more job safety than being an employee elsewhere.

Small Business Owners Statistics

Small business statistics provide a snapshot of the entrepreneurial landscape and can be quite informative. Here are some key figures from a variety of sources:

1. Education Level of Small Business Owners

Small business owners come from different education levels. A small 4% have a doctorate degree. About 30% only finish high school, while an associate degree is in the hands of 31%. Fewer, or 17%, carry a bachelor’s degree, but most often, they have reached at least this level of education or higher.

All these numbers tell us one thing: owning a small business does not require being the top student in class. It is more about the drive and passion.

2. Challenges in Finding Suitable Employees

Global Business Statistics
Finding Suitable Employees

Finding suitable employees can be a major challenge for small business owners. Here are some key difficulties they often face:

  • Lack of engagement among employees at work, with 85% reporting not being engaged and 81% considering leaving their current job.
  • Limited resources for attracting and retaining top talent make it harder to compete with larger companies.
  • Difficulty in recruiting individuals with the right skills and experience for the job.
  • High turnover rates result in increased hiring costs and disruptions to business operations.
  • Inadequate time or knowledge to conduct effective recruitment processes, leading to potential mismatches between job requirements and employee qualifications.
  • Limited access to networks and connections that can help identify qualified candidates.

3. Frequency of Working Overtime

Running a business brings about many demands and pressures. One of the challenges business owners often face is the frequency of working overtime. It is not uncommon for them to put in long hours and work beyond the regular 40-hour workweek. In fact, studies show that 84% of small business owners and entrepreneurs work over 40 hours per week.

There are several reasons why this happens. Firstly, as passionate individuals who want their businesses to succeed, business owners tend to take on way more tasks and responsibilities than they can actually handle within regular working hours. This leads to an excessive workload and the need for extended workweeks.

Secondly, factors such as tight deadlines, unexpected setbacks, or seasonal fluctuations in demand can increase job demands and push employees to work late or put in extra hours.

Lastly, some business owners may have workaholic tendencies—an intense drive to keep pushing themselves even when it is not necessary. It is important to find a balance between their commitment to their businesses and taking care of their own well-being.

Working overtime can be both physically and mentally exhausting, but it is often considered a necessary sacrifice for small business owners striving for success. By recognising these patterns and finding ways to manage their time effectively while prioritising self-care, business owners can strive towards maintaining a healthy work-life balance without compromising on achieving their goals.

4. Reasons for Business Failure

Businesses fail for various reasons, and it is essential to understand these challenges to avoid them. Here are some common reasons why businesses fail:

  • Insufficient funding: Lack of adequate financial resources can hinder a business’s growth and prevent it from meeting its expenses.
  • Low cash flow: Inadequate incoming cash compared to outgoing expenses can lead to difficulties in paying bills and managing day-to-day operations.
  • Poor financial management: Ineffective financial planning, budgeting, and tracking can result in mismanagement of funds and ultimately lead to business failure.
  • Limited resources: Without enough resources like skilled employees, equipment, or technology, a business may struggle to meet customer demands effectively.
  • Marketing failures: If a business fails to reach its target audience effectively or struggles with ineffective marketing strategies, it may struggle to gain customers and generate revenue.
  • Ineffective business strategies: Without proper planning and execution of strategies, businesses may find it challenging to adapt to market changes and stay competitive.

5. Satisfaction of Small Business Owners

Job satisfaction and fulfilment are pretty important, especially for small businesses. It is reassuring to know that studies have shown that small business owners generally express more job satisfaction when compared to those who work as employees.

In fact, over 70% of small business owners feel satisfied with their role as business owners. This is likely due to the sense of autonomy and control that comes with being their own boss, as well as the opportunity to pursue one’s passion and make a meaningful impact in their chosen field.

For marketing managers or marketers, it is important they recognise this high level of satisfaction among small business owners when developing strategies or partnerships aimed at supporting them in growing their small businesses. By understanding what motivates and satisfies these entrepreneurs, marketing managers can better tailor their efforts to meet their needs and help them achieve even greater success.

6. Impact of COVID-19 on Profitability

The 2020-COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the profitability of small businesses. According to a survey of over 5,800 small businesses worldwide, many companies experienced decreased revenue and lower profits due to the economic effects of the pandemic.

Operational efficiency was also affected as businesses faced challenges in adapting to new safety protocols and changing customer behaviours.

Economic conditions, such as reduced consumer spending and supply chain disruptions, further added to the difficulties faced by small businesses. Access to finance became more challenging as lenders tightened their requirements and government support programmes varied in effectiveness.

Additionally, female owners were found to be at a much higher risk of facing negative effects from the pandemic compared to male owners.

Overall, the economic consequences of COVID-19 may have long-lasting implications for small business owners and require innovative strategies for recovery and growth in the future.

7. Survival Rate of Small Businesses

The survival rate of small businesses is an important factor to consider when starting your own business. According to statistics, the average survival rate for small businesses is approximately 78.1%. This means that around 78 out of every 100 small businesses will still be operating after a certain period of time.

In terms of the first year, the survival rate is slightly higher, hovering around 78.5%. It is crucial to note that starting a new business can be challenging, and not all companies are able to make it past this initial stage. However, if you can weather the storm and successfully navigate your first year, your chances of long-term success increase significantly.

It is also worth mentioning that there has been a decline in the small business failure rate over the years. Since 1977, this failure rate has decreased by about 30%, which indicates positive trends for aspiring entrepreneurs.

Ultimately, while there are risks involved in starting a small business, these statistics show that with careful planning and determination, it is possible to build a successful and sustainable venture.

SME Trend Statistics

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are vital to the global economy and are quite responsible for creating a significant portion of jobs and GDP. Here are some of the current trends and statistics regarding SMEs:

1. Shift Towards Online Business Presence

Online business presence is becoming increasingly important in today’s global landscape. More and more entrepreneurs and companies are realising the potential of having an online presence.

With the growth of e-commerce and the increase in internet usage, businesses have seen a significant shift towards conducting their operations online.

The pandemic has also further accelerated this trend, as many traditional brick-and-mortar businesses were forced to close or limit their operations. This situation led to a significant uptake of e-commerce, especially in emerging economies. In fact, the growth rate of e-commerce saw a 17% increase in 2020 alone.

Looking ahead, the future looks bright for online businesses. The percentage of businesses conducted online is projected to grow at an annualised rate of 4.0% until 2024. This means that there are ample opportunities for many businesses to tap into the digital market and reach a wider audience.

2. Growth Rate of Food and Restaurant Businesses

The food and restaurant industry is experiencing significant growth worldwide. The international food service market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 10.79% from 2023 to 2030, reaching a value of $5,423.59 billion.

Specifically, the fast-food restaurant industry is expected to have an annualised growth rate of 2.1% over the five years leading up to 2023, with a revenue projection of $978.4 billion. Chain restaurant revenue has also been expanding, with a CAGR of 1.5% from 2018 to 2022, reaching $57.1 billion by 2022 and an additional increase of 2.5% in the following year.

SMEs play a significant role in this industry as well, accounting for a large share of jobs in countries like Italy and Japan, where they provide employment opportunities in the food and restaurant sector.

3. Optimism of Small Business Owners About The Future

At least 77% of small business owners share a positive attitude about the future of their small businesses. They believe in growth and expansion despite any challenges they may face.

This optimism is important for the overall resilience and success of the small business sector. Despite setbacks like COVID-19, they have proven their ability to adapt and recover. As they look ahead, they are ready to seize new opportunities and contribute to economic recovery.

4. Venture Capital Investment in Africa Tech

Venture capital investment in Africa’s tech sector is on the rise. With an increasing number of local and international investors showing interest, African startups are receiving more funding than ever before. In fact, fintech startups in Africa accounted for 37% of total funding raised in the tech industry in 2022.

The average deal sizes in African fintech are also getting bigger, signalling a positive trend for the future.

However, it is important to note that funding for African startups is still relatively small compared to global venture funding. Despite this, the growth and potential of Africa’s tech innovation have attracted attention and investments from various sources, creating opportunities for expansion and development in the region.

5. Expected Growth of the Blockchain Market

The blockchain market is expected to experience significant growth in the coming years. 

According to estimates, the global blockchain market will increase from $7.4 billion in 2022 to a whopping $94.0 billion by 2027. This indicates a substantial rise in market size and presents great opportunities for businesses operating in this technology-driven sector.

With the increasing adoption of blockchain across industries and its potential to transform various aspects of business operations, like supply chain management and secure digital transactions, it is no wonder that experts are projecting such remarkable growth. So, if you are a business owner or marketer looking for new avenues of growth and innovation, exploring the potential of blockchain technology may be worth considering.

6. Number of Daily Email Users

Every day, billions of people around the world use email to communicate and stay connected. In 2022, there were already 4.26 billion email users, and this number is expected to grow even more in the coming years. By 2026, it is projected that there will be approximately 4.73 billion daily email users worldwide.

That is a staggering amount of potential customers and opportunities for businesses. With such a large user base, email marketing can be an efficient tool for customer acquisition and retention. It is essential for business owners and marketers to tap into this vast audience by leveraging email communication strategies effectively.

7. Growth of Coworking Spaces Worldwide

Coworking spaces have seen significant growth worldwide in recent years. In 2020, around 1.933 million people used these shared workspaces globally, and this trend is expected to continue expanding rapidly.

By 2024, the number of coworking spaces is projected to exceed 40,000 worldwide. This is more than doubling from the approximately 19,400 spaces in 2019.

The market size for coworking spaces is also set to increase substantially; it is estimated to reach $34.99 billion by 2027, with a growth rate of 16.4%. This growth indicates a growing preference for flexible office environments and collaborative workspaces among business owners and professionals alike.

8. Projected Worth of the Fintech Industry

The fintech industry is expected to be worth a lot of money in the future. It is projected that investments in fintech will reach $164.1 billion worldwide. This shows that there is a lot of interest and potential in the financial technology sector.

Businesses, particularly those in finance and technology, have to pay more attention to this trend and consider how they can tap into this growing market. By embracing fintech solutions and keeping up with the latest technological advancements, businesses can position themselves for success in the evolving financial industry landscape.

Other Relevant Global Business Statistics

Global trade statistics reveal the interconnectivity and impact of international commerce on the global economy, providing valuable insights for business owners and marketers. Employment statistics shed light on labour market trends and opportunities for expansion, while investment statistics offer guidance on potential areas of growth.

Industry-specific statistics provide a deeper understanding of sector performance, informing strategic decision-making.

1. Global Trade Statistics

Global trade happens to play a crucial role in the world economy. Ever since the World Trade Organisation (WTO) was established back in 1995, world trade volume and value have been steadily growing.

On average, trade volume has expanded by 4% and trade value by 6% per year. This growth has outpaced the rate of global output, showing the increasing importance of international trade.

About 70% of international trade today somewhat involves global value chains, highlighting how interconnected economies are across borders. The Global Trade Atlas covers 98% of the world’s import and export merchandise trade, providing comprehensive data for analysis and decision-making.

Overall, global trade statistics demonstrate the significant impact that international commerce has on businesses worldwide.

2. Employment Statistics

In 2022, there were around 3.32 billion people employed worldwide. This means that a large number of individuals are participating in the global labour market, contributing their skills and expertise to various industries.

The projected job growth for 2023 remains stable, which indicates that employment opportunities will continue to be available for those seeking work or looking to expand their workforce.

It is important for business owners, marketing managers, and marketers to stay updated on employment trends and job market analysis to make informed decisions about hiring and expanding their businesses. Understanding factors like the labour force participation rate, unemployment rate, and employment outlook can help them plan effectively and tap into emerging opportunities in the job market.

3. Investment Statistics

Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) is an important trend worldwide, with countries and regions experiencing varying levels of investment. Measures to improve FDI have been emerging, aiming to attract more international investments.

The World Investment Report provides valuable data and analysis on investment trends and also offers guidelines for multinational enterprises. This report covers topics like private sector development, bribery issues in investment, conflict minerals, and the overall impact of FDI.

To obtain detailed information about specific countries’ investments and calculated data by STA (Statistics Department), you can refer to the International Financial Statistics by the IMF. Understanding these investment statistics can help businesses make informed decisions regarding their global strategies.

4. Industry-Specific Statistics

Did you know that the United States provides detailed annual data for business establishments by geography, industry, and enterprise size? This can be really helpful when conducting market research for specific products or industries.

Additionally, Statista offers a wide range of market data, industry studies and consumer survey results from over 22,500 sources. So, if you need information on a particular industry or market trend, they could be a great resource to explore.

Finally, it is worth noting that the remaining trade barriers in industrial countries are mainly concentrated in agricultural products and labour-intensive manufacturing. This is important to consider if your business operates in these sectors or relies on imports and exports.


Global business statistics provide valuable insights into the dynamic performance of small businesses and entrepreneurs worldwide. These statistics shed light on the challenges faced by small business owners, the trends shaping the SME landscape, and the impact of factors like COVID-19 on profitability.

By leveraging this data, business owners and marketers can make better, more well-informed decisions to drive growth and navigate the ever-changing global economy. Stay curious and keep exploring these statistics to stay ahead in your industry!

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