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Entrepreneur rate starts to rise, study finds

Joyce M. Rosenberg
Associated Press

The rate of entrepreneurship in the U.S. rose last year, ending a decline that began in 2010, according to a study by the Kauffman Foundation, which researches entrepreneurship.

Kauffman counted 310 new entrepreneurs per 100,000 adults, up about 10 percent from 280 in 2014. The 2015 figure translates into about 530,000 new business owners each month.

Entrepreneurship slowed as a result of the recession, not only due to caution from would-be entrepreneurs, but also because loan and investor money has been harder to come by.

Other loan issues have held back entrepreneurs: Home-equity lines of credit that many people used in the past to start companies have shrunk as bankers grew more leery. And many people with tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars in school loan debt can’t afford to start companies while they have steep monthly payments.

Kauffman said the increase in entrepreneurship is a good sign for more job creation and economic growth.

However, many startups don’t hire immediately, and the weakness of the economy this year has helped keep small business hiring in check. The gross domestic product grew at a weak annual rate of 0.8 percent during the winter.