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New Study Uncovers Keys To Entrepreneurial Success

Written by Ken Gaebler
Published: 11/20/2009

The Kauffman Foundation released a study with insight on what contributes to SMB success.

A new study from the Kauffman Foundation, "Making of a Successful Entrepreneur," could have useful news for entrepreneurs; it provides insight into company owners' views about what influences the success or failure of a startup business.

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According to the study, entrepreneurs identified prior work experience as highly important, with 98 percent of respondents claiming it factored significantly in their success.

Previous endeavors also proved invaluable to successful entrepreneurs, with 88 percent of respondents citing lessons from prior successes as essential and 78 percent citing lessons from prior failures as key.

Other important factors included professional networks, an ambitious management team, and plain old luck.

The biggest barrier to success was fear of risk, which the Kauffman Foundation cites as the main reason entrepreneur ranks remain small.

"If we, as a nation, respond to this data by developing policies that encourage entrepreneurship, we have the potential to increase the numbers of high-growth companies that will create jobs and accelerate economic recovery," says Robert E. Litan, vice president of research and policy at the Kauffman Foundation.

It may be wise, as Litan suggests, for entrepreneurs to consider these findings as the U.S. Small Business Administration reports that net job creation comes from small, entrepreneurial companies.

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