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Entrepreneurs still happy to increase workforce size


15:24, June 07, 2013

SYDNEY, June 7 (Xinhua) -- Despite tough global economic times, Ernst & Young reported on Friday that 78 percent of the world's best entrepreneurs still intend to increase the size of their workforce in 2013.

The firm surveyed 200 of its former Entrepreneur of the Year winners about their future recruitment plans, and uncovered some surprisingly positive results.

"In the past year, the world's best entrepreneurs have shown remarkable resilience in the face of sharply variable business conditions throughout the major global markets," said Maria Pinelli, Ernst & Young Global Vice Chair of Strategic Growth Markets.

"While macroeconomic risks such as the Eurozone crisis, a slowdown in emerging markets growth and the U.S. budget impasse have added to investor uncertainty, the world's leading entrepreneurs are still looking to recruit in significant numbers," she added.

Overall, the number of respondents who said they will recruit specifically to boost production rose from 28 percent in 2012 to 45 percent in 2013.

Entrepreneurs operating in the Asia-Pacific led the way in adding staff to enhance production, followed by those in Europe and the U.S.

"Entrepreneurs have gone beyond entering new market and they are now consolidating their activities," said Pinelli.

"It shows the world -- and inspires us all -- as to what can happen when you give good ideas, and the space to grow them, a chance," she added.

The survey also uncovered some key differences in the values and outlook of female and male high-flyers.

It found that female entrepreneurs intended to hire more people at home than their male counterparts, with 73 percent of the women planning to increase their workforce in their domestic markets this year, compared to 69 percent of the men.

About half intended to create roles for experienced, non- management personnel, while 26 percent were after entry-level employees without a degree, and only 14 percent were looking to hire tertiary-educated entry-level workers.

"Entrepreneurs continue to raise the standard of living in the countries where they operate by not only creating jobs but good jobs, that require experience. That's what we call helping to build a better working world," said Pinelli.

Both women and men said that growth in their products and services and breaking into new markets were the most important factors in their 2013 hiring plans, but more women also valued the opportunity to tap into new resource talent.

Female entrepreneurs generally felt more optimistic about the economic direction of the countries in which they are based -- with 88 percent expressing a positive outlook compared to 71 percent of the men.

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