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Entrepreneurs to the Rescue?

A survey finds Americans trust small businesses to solve the economic crisis, rather than Congress.
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Though many Americans are relying on the nation's entrepreneurial spirit to help fix the ailing U.S. economy, few believe conditions are ripe for business start-ups, according to a survey by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.

In a survey of 816 registered voters, over 70 percent said the health of the economy depends on the success of entrepreneurs, the Kansas City, Mo.-based entrepreneurial research group reported this week. More than half said they trusted small businesses to save the economy, the survey found. By contrast, only 14 percent said they felt Congress was up to the job.

Despite their confidence in entrepreneurship, 71 percent of respondents said the economy has made it extremely difficult to start a business, and only 26 percent said they would consider starting their own businesses the next five years, the survey found.

"Americans aspire to be their own bosses, but they also need a financial base before they can take that risk," said Timothy Kane, an economist in the Kauffman Foundation’s Research and Policy division. "In a recession, it’s too difficult to build the kind of business people dream of,” Kane said.

Not surprisingly, over 60 percent of survey respondents said they believed Main Street would suffer greater consequences of the current crisis than Wall Street, while one in four felt the crisis would have a very bad or devastating effect on them personally.

The survey was conducted between Sept. 26-29.

Last updated: Oct 2, 2008




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