The study found that
more than half of the companies on the 2009 Fortune 500 list were
launched during a recession or bear market, along with nearly half of
the firms on the 2008 Inc. list of America's fastest-growing companies.
The report also suggests a broader economic trend, with job creation
from startup companies proving to be less volatile and sensitive to
downturns when compared to the overall economy.
From the study's introduction:
Amid the worst economic contraction since 1981-82, and possibly the Great Depression, attention has naturally turned toward the silver lining we might be able to find around the gloom. Some have turned toward historical work on the Great Depression, noting the bright spots that existed; others have examined the relationship, if any, between recessions and entrepreneurial activity. By peering into the economic past, we hope to somehow circumvent our very limited prognosticative abilities and answer the question, "What effect do recessions have on new firm formation?"
This research study, analyzing data from the U.S. Census, the Fortune 500, and the Inc. list of America's fastest-growing companies, presents three main findings:
While these data are far from conclusive and can only hint at broader trends, they do illustrate a more fundamental economic reality: each year, new firms steadily recreate the economy, generating jobs and innovations. These companies may be invisible, or they may one day grow into household names. But they constantly come into being as individuals bring forth their economic futures.
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