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NOTEBOOK: Report: Entrepreneurs feel good, but don’t apply for much funding


A new report published by the Kauffman Foundation found entrepreneurs feel strongly optimistic about their business performance — but confidence in the direction of the U.S. economy is split between established businesses and startups under 5 years old. 

The report found that entrepreneurs overwhelmingly feel unsupported by the government when starting their businesses, yet 64 percent of startup entrepreneurs surveyed never applied for government grants and funding; 68 percent had never applied for grants from nonprofits; and 58 percent had never applied for loans. The results suggest the resources available aren’t what entrepreneurs are looking for, the Kauffman Foundation said in the report. 

Surprisingly, the Kauffman Foundation study reported majority support from startup and established business entrepreneurs to repeal net neutrality laws — 47 percent of surveyed startup entrepreneurs said a repeal of net neutrality would have a positive impact on their business, and 49 percent of established business entrepreneurs agreed. The study didn’t explore those opinions further in the data released as part of the report.

Although I wasn’t able to find a directly comparable study, the data seem to be at odds with other reports on the impact FCC’s 2015 net neutrality rules have had on startups, which includes preventing broadband providers from throttling access to services or websites, and preventing content censorship. By the time the Trump administration’s FCC voted to repeal net neutrality laws in December 2017, more than 500 businesses and trade organizations signed an open letter in support of Net Neutrality laws. 

The Kauffman Foundation did report positive expectations from entrepreneurs for federal policy changes around tax and health plans, but startup founders and founders of business established more than five years ago differed on whether extending policy on Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals would positively affect businesses (51 percent of startup entrepreneurs agreed, while only 32 percent of established business entrepreneurs agreed).

MORE NOTEBOOK ITEMS: Read more Insider bits and bites of the finer side of Iowa businessonline.

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