Employment growth in May was dismal, notching just 38,000 new jobs for the month. For many economists and other business experts, it was a sign the economy had hit a stalling point. It was also potentially an important indicator for small-business owners, who are often called the engines of the economy. Nearly half of all private sector employees work for a small business, and roughly two thirds of all new jobs created are from small businesses, per the Small Business Administration.
But small-business owners who consider themselves innovators and disruptors have a different idea, according to global consultancy EY. The consultancy’s global survey on job creation, out Monday, finds entrepreneurs are planning to do a lot of hiring in the next 12 months.
EY interviewed 2,700 entrepreneurs around the globe, slightly more than two-thirds of whom said they were optimistic about the direction of the world economy. Nearly 60% of all businesses said they planned to hire new workers in the next year. Only 28% of large corporations said the same.
While that’s certainly an upbeat number, the companies that labeled themselves as “innovators” or “disruptors” that said they would do an even better job. Disruptors, according to EY, are companies that either changed some or all of the rules in their particular sector in the past year; innovators created a new product, service or business model in their particular sector over the same time period. Sixty-five percent of the survey sample said they were either disruptors or innovators in their particular industry.
Here are five key takeaways from the report:
1. Nearly 80 percent of innovative entrepreneurs said they planned to increase their workforces in the next 12 months. That compares to 40% of non-innovative entrepreneurs. Innovative entrepreneurs said they would increase their workforces by a net 18%, compared to 4% for non-innovative companies.
2. Disruptive entrepreneurs had slightly more modest plans, with nearly two–thirds saying they planned to add workers by a net 12%, compared to 43% of non-innovative entrepreneurs who said they’d grow headcount by a net 3%.
3. Younger business owners, two–thirds of whom consider themselves to be disruptors, have more aggressive employee growth plans than their older colleagues. Business owners 35 and under said they planned to increase their employee count by a net 14% in the next 12 months, compared to 3% for those 55 and over.
4. Younger business owners also had more global plans to hire, with 32% saying their workforces would be added in overseas markets, compared to 18% of entrepreneurs 55 and older.
5. Government has an important part to play in creating the proper environment for such small businesses to thrive, helping to provide things like access to good education and capital. “EY… found that in cultures where targeted public policies on education and job-training are more prevalent, these same markets consistently develop entrepreneurship and innovation as engines of economic growth.”