BUSINESS
05/26/2010 01:45 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Start-Up Activity Now HIGHER Than It Was During The Dotcom Boom (CHART)

Despite, or perhaps because of, the recession, U.S. entrepreneurial activity is at its highest rate in 14 years. And yes, that includes the tech boom period of 1999-2001.

According to the Kauffman Index of Entrepreneurial Activity, 558,000 new businesses were created each month month last year, representing a 4% increase over 2008. This rate has been steadily growing for the last 4 years, with a spike between 2007-2008.

"Challenging economic times can serve as a motivational boost to individuals who have been laid-off to become their own employers and future job creators,"said Carl Schramm, president and CEO of the Kauffman Foundation. "Because entrepreneurs drive the economy, the growth in 2009 business startups is encouraging and hopefully points to a hopeful trend in terms of our economic recovery."

No surprise then that in a January 2010 report by outplacement firm Challenger, Gray and Christmas, jobless managers and executives accounted for the most start-up activity in four years.

That sentiment might explain why Bloomberg and FirstMark Capital LLC, a private equity firm, have earmarked $22 million for New York-based technology start-ups.

Check out how entrepreneurial activity has done through the years.

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