Creativity, not capital, is the resource of choice for compulsive entrepreneurs. So suggest preliminary findings of a study of prolific business founders by the Wharton School. While first-time entrepreneurs also depend on imagination, those who start many companies often eschew the use of available cash to pursue the route novices take by necessity. Why the miser's touch? It keeps them from getting lazy, they say.

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So some like to depend on creativity. Others still lust after cold cash. For them, DataMerge, a new software firm in Denver, sells a $350 database of finance sources.

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The Home Economy
(millions) 1989 1990

People with home 7.4 8.4

businesses

Free-lancers 6 7.5

(Nearly 14% more people are running home businesses this year than last, while 25% more people are free-lancing.)

Source: Link Resources, New York City

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"It's in to say, 'I have a home-based business.' It's the newest status symbol."

-- Coralee Kern, director of the National Association of Cottage Industries

-- Leslie Brokaw