According to the Census, the number of businesses with no payroll recently topped 20 million, up from 15 million in the late 1990s. With the monthly employment report out today, we’ll look at the challenges and benefits of self-employment at a time of high joblessness.

Steve King, partner at Emergent Research, a research and consulting firm focused on small businesses
David Charron, executive director of the Lester Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the University of California Berkeley Haas School of Business
Nicole Levine, executive director, North Bay and San Francisco, of the Women's Initiative for Self-Employment, a Bay Area non-profit which provides high-potential, lower-income women the training, resources and ongoing support to start and grow their business
Danae Ringelmann, chief operations officer and founder of IndieGoGo, a collaborative way to fund ideas
Herb Cohn, president of the San Francisco Council of District Merchants Associations and a self-employed accountant for 25 years

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