NEW YORK (MainStreet) — When Sam DiGennaro worked in corporate America as an advertising executive in Manhattan, she often felt stifled by corporate politics and the bureaucracy.

"I made a lot of money in a cushy position but it was affecting my soul," DiGennaro told MainStreet. I knew I could be happier. It was tougher to be part of the club as the only woman because at the level of corporate executive there were hardly any other women except the secretaries."


In 2005, DiGennaro launched her own public relations and marketing firm called DiGennaro Communications (DGC) and has never looked back.

The firm currently employs 35 people and enjoys more than $5 million in annual revenues.

"I am 100% happier being self employed than working a corporate job," DiGennaro said. "It feels like an albatross has been lifted off my shoulders."

Much like DiGennaro's experience, the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) 2013 Global Report indicates that entrepreneurship could be a good career choice for most.

"In all regions, entrepreneurs exhibit relatively higher rates of subjective well-being in comparison to individuals who are not involved in the process of starting a business or owning-managing a business," said Jose Ernesto Amoro´s, co-author of the report and professor with Universidad del Desarrollo in Chile.


For the study, Amoro´s defines subjective well-being as people being satisfied with life, and women entrepreneurs are especially happy when it comes to individual well-being and satisfaction with their work conditions.

That may be a result of having lower expectations.

"If you want to be happy, lowering your expectations is a sad but true perspective," said Leslie Ungar, a leadership coach. "Our bar for happiness is lower due to lower pay in a traditional workplace, male politics, the old boys club and so much more."

The study further found that women entrepreneurs from innovation-driven economies showed higher degrees of personal well-being than their male counterparts.

"Women in many developed countries have been increasing their education, have more egalitarian environments and by consequence have more active participation not only in the labor force but also in other spheres such as politics and social issues," said Amoro´s.

Japan and Korea have high degrees of innovative products and services closely followed by entrepreneurs in North America and the European Union while emerging nations, such as Colombia, Chile and South Africa, offer products or services that are new to their customers and see few local competitors.

About 47% perceive good opportunities for starting businesses in the United States, which is up from 43% last year, and only 8% are reporting a lack of finance as the reason for recently discontinuing businesses compared to 18% in 2012.

"The 2013 results reveal that the U.S. has maintained a high rate of entrepreneurship for three years running after substantial declines in this activity in the aftermath of the recession," said Donna Kelley, entrepreneurship professor at Babson College. "Entrepreneurship activity is stable and popular in the United States with favorable conditions in the environment for this activity."

--Written by Juliette Fairley for MainStreet