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Executive Decision

A volatile business climate continues to drive corporate refugees into entrepreneurship.

This story appears in the July 1996 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

In a business climate fraught with constant change, corporate layoffs have become a common business practice. For many corporations, outsourcing business functions is more cost-effective than handling them internally. At the same time, new technology is allowing big business to replace bodies with machines, robbing workers of their jobs. And with the bottom line often the top priority, profit-driven job cuts are now in vogue.

As more workers continue to fall off the corporate ladder, many displaced executives are discovering only one way to land on their feet: become an entrepreneur. Challenger, Gray & Christmas, a Chicago-based corporate outplacement company, estimates the number of layoff victims who have turned to entrepreneurship has roughly doubled in just two years, ballooning from 6 percent to 8 percent in 1993 to 12 percent to 15 percent in 1995.

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