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Small biz job creation bucks economic headwinds

U.S. winners and finalists in the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year award program have bucked national trends and boosted their headcounts by 11% each year since the nadir of the financial crisis in 2008, according to a new analysis by Ernst & Young LLP. During the same period, the overall U.S. jobless rate rose to over 10%.

Even as the recession forced many less-dynamic businesses to cut employment and growth initiatives back sharply, entrepreneurs in the Ernst & Young LLP program found reason to be optimistic about the opportunities arising out of the depths of the financial crisis.

“High-growth companies run by the world’s leading entrepreneurs are able to find opportunity in adversity and not only navigate through, but thrive within, difficult economic conditions,” said Maria Pinelli, Americas Director, Strategic Growth Markets, Ernst & Young LLP. “Policymakers looking to reduce unemployment should look to the success of these businesses for guidance.”

The Entrepreneur Of The Year award, now in its 25th year, celebrates the world’s most creative and inspirational business leaders from 50 countries. Finalists and winners in 2010 represented 687 companies. The award recognizes leaders and visionaries who demonstrate innovation, financial success and personal commitment as they create and build world-class businesses.

“These are exactly the traits a business leader needs to successfully embrace what we call ‘disruptive innovation’ to re-imagine their businesses and enter new markets,” Pinelli said. “Only by fostering a culture that is both creative and disciplined can a company uncover that unexpected product or service that revolutionizes a market through drastic improvements in price or quality.”

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