The percentage of job seekers starting their own businesses increased in the first half of 2013, as an improving lending market and employment picture provided both the financial and job safety nets sought by fledgling entrepreneurs. 

Even with the increase, however, fewer than five percent of managers and executives opted for self-employment over a more traditional career path, suggesting that starting a business remains far too risky for most people.

The latest data on start-up trends was released Wednesday by global outplacement and coaching consultancy Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc.

It revealed that an average of only 4.1 percent started their own business over the first two quarters of 2013. That was up from 3.0 percent of those starting businesses in the same period a year ago.

“We saw some solid start-up activity among job seekers just as the recovery was getting underway in late 2009,” said John A. Challenger, CEO of the HR firm. “However, entrepreneurship quickly lost its allure as the recovery struggled to gain momentum and dragged on slowly for months and months.”

He noted that financing a start-up business was extremely difficult due to tightened lending standards related to the recession.