Earlier this year I wrote about how the recession was making us workaholics, with many people afraid to take vacations for fear of losing their jobs.
Turns out the recession is also making entrepreneurs of some who get pink slipped. MercuryNews.com spoke to several of them, including an unemployed husband and wife who moved from New York to Silicon Valley to launch a startup social network, an out-of-work software product manager who created a rechargeable battery service for companies, and a woman who started teaching swing dancing after losing her job at a nonprofit.
While the MercuryNews article offers only anecdotal evidence, the Kauffman Foundation put some numbers to the trend, finding that an average of 320 out of 100,000 adults created a new business each month in 2008, compared with 300 out of 100,000 adults in 2007.
I've written before about immigrants' willingness to launch new businesses. Many fled from countries beset with wars or other political turmoils. I speculated this might make them tolerant of risk, a necessary quality for entrepreneurs. Over the years, friends have encouraged me to strike out on my own and become a freelance writer, but I am too scared to give up the regular paycheck. In contrast, a twentysomething entrepreneur I mentioned in my post seemed relatively unfazed by the idea her startup might fail. She said:
My parents came to this country from Cambodia when they were 40 with three kids, no money and no English. What's the worst that can happen?