Even with the recession, there was plenty of start-up action in Los Angeles and OC last year - 58 out of every 10,000 people were involved in new entrepreneurial activities, according to the Kauffman Foundation, which keeps close tabs of this stuff. Nationally, it was 32 out of 10,000, down from 34 in 2010. Oddly, California didn't top the list of states - its start-up rate was 44 out of 10,000 residents. Arizona was number one, at 52 out of 10,000. From the report (via the OC Register):
"The Great Recession has pushed many individuals into business ownership due to high unemployment rates," said Robert Litan, vice president of research and policy at the Kauffman Foundation. "However, economic uncertainty likely has made them more cautious, and they prefer to start sole proprietorships rather than more costly employer firms. This 'jobless entrepreneurship' trend negatively effects job creation and the larger economic recovery."
Another reason for their caution: Financing struggles. Banks were still making it very tough for small businesses to borrow money in 2011.