Young, diverse, optimistic: Who entrepreneurs are and what they believe

Launching a start-up business is getting harder, and the government isn’t helping, according to business owners surveyed in the annual entrepreneurship report the Kauffman Foundation released Wednesday.

Seventy-nine percent of start-up business owners and 83 percent of owners of older businesses say the government hasn’t helped them start their business. Sixty percent of startups don’t believe the government cares about businesses like their own, and 68 percent of owners of older businesses said the same.

Despite that, entrepreneurs are optimistic about their own businesses and the economy in general.

Read on for more highlights of “Breaking Barriers: The Voice Of Entrepreneurs”:

— Entrepreneurs whose businesses started within the past five years tend to be younger, more Democratic and more racially diverse than those who have been in business for more than five years

— Strong majorities of businesses — 88 percent of new businesses, and 81 percent of older businesses — expect 2018 to be a good year for their companies

— Female first-year entrepreneurs are more likely to say they’re struggling than their male counterparts, but that evens out over time

— Entrepreneurs are about evenly split on whether it’s easier, harder or about the same to conduct the business of entrepreneurship, although newer businesses tend to think

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it’s getting harder, while older businesses are more likely to report that the difficult level has stayed the same

— A whopping 89 percent of newer businesses expect to increase profits this year. Seventy-eight percent plan to introduce a new product or service, and 74 percent plan to increase employee wages. That compares to 77 percent (increase profits), 52 percent (introduce something new) and 69 percent (increase wages) for older businesses

— At 52 percent, black start-up owners are the only group in which a majority believes the government cares about them. (No majority of men, women, whites or Hispanics said that.) Seventy-six percent of black owners of older businesses, however, say the government doesn’t care about them.

— Pretty much everyone thinks the government should be doing more to help businesses like them (92 percent of startups; 89 percent of older businesses).

— But most businesses, new and old, aren’t using current government services, such as working with the Small Business Administration or applying for governmental grants and loans

— Most businesses owners, new and old, are optimistic about the effects of the new tax plan, but are more split on repealing the Affordable Care Act, net neutrality and the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) plan

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