2021 Trends in Entrepreneurship Report

The Trends in Entrepreneurship Report brings together expertise and data from academia, industry and policymakers to highlight relevant topics facing entrepreneurs and investors today.

Our aim is for this information to guide leaders in their decision-making, as well as to highlight gaps in research and policy for leaders in academia and government.


The 2021 report, produced by the Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise and the UNC Kenan-Flagler’s Entrepreneurship Center, explores the following:

    • Initially, we explore the state of startups, small businesses and investments after a year – and global pandemic – have passed.
    • Then we dive into one of the hottest areas today: health innovation. We highlight trends related to
      COVID-19, as well as other relevant topics, such as how AI and machine learning are impacting innovations in health.
    • After that deep dive, we zoom out to explore broader trends related to investment structures, the impact of
      economic recovery funds distributed by the government, and other capital formation specific to entrepreneurs and small businesses. One of the major highlights is the disparity in funding as it relates to support for underrepresented groups in entrepreneurship.
    • We then take on the theme of diversity, equity and inclusion in entrepreneurship, highlighting some of the
      massive experimentation of the past several years to create more inclusive ecosystems through case studies and models, with a hope to inspire action and research related to these topics.
    • We conclude by examining factors inside organizations related to teams and talent, and how those elements play into the ongoing success of organizations.
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