#EK What Drives Would-Be Entrepreneurs? The Results Are In.
By Dane Stangler,
Need proof that interest in entrepreneurship is alive and well in the United States and around the world? Consider the 5,000-plus individuals who have already taken the “Are You An Entrepreneur?” survey, adapted from a Kauffman FastTrac questionnaire and posted on forbes.com since June 1, 2012.
While most survey respondents rated themselves high on many of the 17 personal characteristics, traits and skills that bode well for taking an entrepreneurial plunge, the results also clearly indicate areas in which aspiring entrepreneurs see themselves “needing improvement” – and underscore the perception that entrepreneurship is very much a social enterprise. The top five attributes to hone before starting a business, according to those surveyed, are:
- Networking – 19%
- Persuasiveness – 16.3%
- Market awareness – 15.6%
- Business knowledge – 13.5%
- Self-discipline – 9.1%
On the other end of the scale, the traits in which founder-wannabes felt they needed little to no improvement included ethics (1.7%) and accountability (3.2%). In other words, they feel well equipped with honesty and integrity, and they take responsibility for their own performance.
“Passion to be an entrepreneur” is the top reason for wanting to start a business for nearly half (48.5%) of those surveyed. Following at a distant second and third are “I want to be my own boss” (29.5%) and “I have a great idea/innovation” (17.4%). Surprisingly, only 1% say their interest was driven by a lack of success in finding a job.
So, with interest in entrepreneurship high, what did survey respondents see as their barriers to entry? Money, money, money – and figuring out how to get started. Topping the responses to a question about the “biggest obstacle to starting my own company,” 36% of aspiring founders cite financing, followed closely by “knowing where to begin” (34.7%). Much farther down the scale of concern are fear of failure (10.1%) and finding a partner (6.5%).
It’s encouraging to find that many, if not all, of the reasons holding back the thousands of respondents can be readily addressed through training, education, mentorship and connecting with other entrepreneurs who have ‘been there, done that’ and now are succeeding in creating jobs and building global economies.
Kauffman FastTrac® is the leading provider of learning curricula that equip aspiring and existing entrepreneurs with the business skills and insights, tools, resources and network to start and grow successful businesses. Kauffman FastTrac was created by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.