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Aruba, May 29, 2013 - Following the 2008 financial crisis, some Americans frustrated with not being able to find work took the bold step of opening their own small businesses. It was a bittersweet accomplishment for many new moms and pops, who became known as necessity entrepreneurs.

Now five years later as the recovery gains traction, new data shows the tables have turned. Instead of necessity-driven new businesses, more U.S. entrepreneurs are launching ventures based on perceived opportunities, growth ambitions and a broad optimistic outlook—a group sometimes called opportunity entrepreneurs.

"The opportunity entrepreneur has come back," said Donna J. Kelley, associate professor of entrepreneurship at Babson College, located outside Boston. "People are just jumping in," Kelley, who authored the 2012 Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, said.

Rise of 'opportunity entrepreneurs'
While necessity-driven entrepreneurs have not disappeared, opportunity seekers returned in 2012. Research found that nearly 78 percent of entrepreneurs last year started ventures to pursue opportunities. That is up from 71 percent of total entrepreneurship in 2010. Before the financial collapse unraveled, about 87.3 percent were opportunity entrepreneurs in 2008.

"People are now seeing a positive environment and jumping in," Kelley said.

Based on a survey of about 5,500 entrepreneurs across the country, the annual report offers an in-depth analysis of American entrepreneurship. It also indicates what's happening on Main Street, a traditional driver of past economic recoveries. The latest annual report was released Wednesday.

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