Would-be Entrepreneurs Cite Networking Skills, Business Acumen as Key Areas for Improvement in Kauffman FastTrac Survey on Forbes.com

Assistance with financing and determining how to begin are top needs for those aspiring to start businesses

Kansas City, MO  (Profitable.com)  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 indicated areas in which aspiring entrepreneurs see themselves “needing improvement.” The top five attributes to hone before starting a business, according to those surveyed, are:

1.    Networking – 19 percent
2.    Persuasiveness – 16.3 percent
3.    Market awareness – 15.6 percent
4.    Business knowledge – 13.5 percent
5.    Self-discipline – 9.1 percent

On the other end of the scale, the traits in which founder-wannabes felt they needed little to no improvement included ethics (1.7 percent) and accountability (3.2 percent). 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 percent) of those surveyed. Following at a distant second and third were “I want to be my own boss” (29.5 percent) and “I have a great idea/innovation” (17.4 percent). Interestingly, only 1 percent indicated 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 percent of aspiring founders cited financing, followed closely by “knowing where to begin” (34.7 percent). Much farther down the scale of concern were fear of failure (10.1 percent) and finding a partner (6.5 percent).

“I find it encouraging that thousands of people – male, female, all ages and living across the globe – each took a few minutes to assess their readiness to start a business by taking our survey,” said Alana Muller, president of Kauffman FastTrac. “It’s even more encouraging to find that many, if not all, of the reasons holding them back 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.”

Read more about Forbes’ Startup Month here.

About Kauffman FastTrac®

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, the largest foundation in the United States devoted to entrepreneurship. For more information about Kauffman FastTrac, visit http://www.fasttrac.org and follow the organization on Twitter @fasttrac, like it on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/kauffmanfasttrac and connect on LinkedIn at http://www.fasttrac.org/linkedin.