November Survey Shows Highest-Ever Business Startup Intent for Spring 2021

Friday, December 4th, 2020

Startups planned for "4-6 months out" reached the highest levels ever recorded in the Small Business Startup Sentiment Index™ (SSI), collected Nov. 19-26, 2020, from individuals who have recently inquired about starting their own businesses.


Entrepreneurs are increasingly optimistic about startups, with the expressed intent to start "this month"rising to 23.1% in the November survey vs. 20.5% in October, following a 49.6% increase over September. This implies a rapid rise in startups by mid-2021.

The reasons for optimism seem clear. This survey was taken November 19-26, after Pfizer and German BioNTech presented preliminary data on Nov. 9, 2020, indicating that their coronavirus vaccine was over 90 percent effective. Moderna reported similar findings on November 16. These announcements along with diminishing election uncertainty are likely factors in increasing business startup confidence.

Additional highlights:

  • Future business conditions: Respondents were optimistic, roughly coincident with their expected time frames for starting businesses. Over 48% of respondents believe that in three months, business conditions will be "better" or "much better" than now.
  • Access to funding: Entrepreneurs are becoming increasingly concerned about startup financing, with fewer seeing it getting "easier or much easier", and more seeing it "harder or much harder."
  • Demographics: 45.5% are currently employed full-time, and 9.4% are current business owners. Gen-X (53.5%) and Gen-Y (31.8%) accounted for the highest percentage of survey respondents.

"Entrepreneurs are moving to the starting line, with vaccines coming and election uncertainty diminished," says Michael Alston, senior advisor to "They see opportunities in recovery and new categories of businesses spawned by the pandemic."

Download a copy of the November SSI report here. See excerpts from prior SSI™ surveys and subscribe to receive the Small Business Startup Sentiment Index™ monthly report when it is released.

The Small Business Startup Sentiment Index™ is based on a monthly survey of individuals who have recently inquired about businesses or franchises for sale on the digital assets of FranchiseVentures.