Regardless of today's shaky economy and high unemployment rates, 54 percent of entrepreneurs around the world plan to hire, according to new research from Ernst & Young.

The research also finds that 90 percent of respondents believe innovation is a true differentiator from competitors. Another 44 percent of respondents say they rely on structured processes to create innovation, and 41 percent of respondents say innovation involves an unstructured, spontaneous process.

"Clearly entrepreneurs are not taking a wait-and-see attitude to growing their businesses but moving right ahead," says Maria Pinelli, global vice chair of strategic growth markets for Ernst & Young. "It's fascinating to see this type of success across the board at a time when just about every leading global economic indicator reports modest or no growth."

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