If you’ve ever dreamed of starting your own business, 2014 might just be the year to do it. A recent survey of new business owners indicates that the future is finally looking brighter for aspiring entrepreneurs.
The survey — conducted by the Kauffman Foundation, a private, nonpartisan organization, and LegalZoom, an online legal resource for individuals and businesses — indicates that entrepreneurs may have an easier time getting businesses off the ground in the New Year than they have in years past.
While the struggling economy still poses some challenges for aspiring entrepreneurs, the survey suggests that certain barriers to success are finally starting to lift. Sixty-three percent of new business owners surveyed in 2013 said they encountered setbacks in getting their businesses off the ground, but only 28 percent of those owners cited a lack of access to credit as a reason for their bumpy starts. This marks a major improvement from 2012, when 45 percent of new business owners named lack of credit as their biggest obstacle.
New business owners also cited the unpredictable nature of the economy as a setback in 2013, but this obstacle seems to be diminishing, too. While 45 percent of new business owners said the struggling economy was the biggest thing holding them back in 2012, only 36 percent of respondents listed the economy as a setback in 2013.
The survey also found that 2013’s new business owners were more willing than their predecessors to part with personal savings. Last year, 86 percent of entrepreneurs used their own money to get new ventures off the ground, the survey showed. That represents a 20 percent increase from 2012 in the use of personal investments for new businesses — a figure the survey’s creators say might indicate a broader, economy-wide shift from savings to investment.
“Few actions correlate more directly with economic confidence than personal investment,” said John Suh, CEO of LegalZoom, in a press release outlining the new survey. “Investing personal savings to start a business when credit is readily available signals high conviction in the future.”