Poll: Government Could Do More to Spur Entrepreneurship

The government should be doing more to encourage individuals to start businesses, according to a new poll (pdf) released by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.

Pollster Douglas Schoen conducted the survey, asking a random sample of 2,000 Americans whether they prefer the government giving individuals the incentives they need to start their own businesses or if the government should create new jobs directly or through big corporations. Sixty-three percent said help out the individuals, while 22 percent favor the government creating new jobs in the public and private sector.

Three hundred of the respondents identified themselves as entrepreneurs and 200 said they were aspiring entrepreneurs.

The Kauffman Foundation said the study pointed to a "key and unrecognized reason as to why the public has not been satisfied with the overall stimulus package."

"These two statistics -- which produced similar results -- underscore the public's deep and abiding belief that the government should facilitate entrepreneurial activity by creating the conditions and policies that make it easier for individuals to take a risk, as opposed to the government itself creating jobs," said foundation President and CEO Carl Schramm. "Monday's announcement to loosen credit for entrepreneurs and small business owners is a step in the right direction, but more can be done to encourage current and future job creators."

Seventy-nine percent of the respondents said entrepreneurs are "critically important" to job creation, ranking higher than big business, scientists and government. Additionally, only 33 percent of entrepreneurs support the recent economic stimulus package, according to the poll.

By Sharon McLoone |  March 19, 2009; 7:00 AM ET Data Points , Economy Watch
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