Optimism and Entrepreneurial Spirit Rising for Business

According to a recent survey by the Young President’s Organization, CEOs across the globe are beginning to feel more confident about the economic climate and the outlook on hiring is becoming sunnier.

Each quarter, the YPO Global Pulse CEO confidence index surveys 2,256 CEOs representing companies of all sizes all over the world, including 1,144 from the U.S. Of these CEOs, 36% are from small businesses with fewer than 100 employees. On its latest reading, the overall confidence index rose 3.6 points to 63.5, the survey’s highest level since its origination in July 2009. The U.S. index rose 2.8 points to 64.7, as well.

The survey reported that 61% of CEOs feel conditions are improving (up 46% from the last quarterly survey) and 67% of respondents believe conditions will continue to improve in the next six months.

YPO members are seeing an uptick in sales across the board, according to YPO member Mary Naylor, founder and CEO of VIPdesk, a corporate Concierge Service in Washington, D.C.

“It starts with inquiries and interests and ends in closing sales. This is an uptick in sales at business-to-business companies and direct-to-consumer companies,” Naylor said. “We’ve had a great expansion of client accounts that has driven hiring.”

Those searching for jobs often overlook smaller companies, which are making a comeback in terms of profits and hiring, she said. To conduct a truly effective job search, applicants must cover all their bases.

“All too often those looking for jobs don’t reach out to small companies,” Naylor said. “They go to traditional places like CareerBuilder.com and Monster.com. But it’s about really doing your research and going to regional career journals, do tracking. Small businesses are aggressively hiring, but they might not be on a job hunter’s radar.”

At the same time, many across the country are considering becoming small business owners themselves, according to the Young Entrepreneur Council, which also recently conducted a study on the outlook for jobs and hiring. YEC partnered with Buzz Marketing Group to gauge the needs and goals of unemployed and underemployed Americans ages 16-39.

The Youth Entrepreneurship Survey, presented by LegalZoom.com, questioned 1,632 respondents across the U.S., 63% of which were college graduates, and the overwhelming majority indicated a strong interest in entrepreneurship.

Of the respondents, 79% said they had an interest in entrepreneurship and 69% would like to work for an entrepreneur. A small group of respondents, 27%, are self-employed and of this group 21% started their own business as a result of the recession.

More than 35% of the respondents with jobs started their own side businesses to supplement their income, and 18% plan to quit their full-time jobs to pursue these entrepreneurial ambitions this year.

With small business at the heart of American recovery; however, many respondents indicated they need more support from the government to get moving. A reported 89% of respondents who were self employed said they don’t feel they have enough support from the government and 67% said they don’t have enough financial support from banks.