Can't Talk. Gotta Run


Are small-business owners as busy as they think? Could be. In search of entrepreneurs, the Entrepreneurial Research Consortium (ERC), hosted by Babson College, phoned 1,500 U.S. households at random to ask about small-business ownership. Those homes that needed to be called back most often to complete a five-minute interview--as many as 24 times--are the most likely to have someone involved in small business. Most commercial surveys don't make more than four tries. The study revealed at least 26% of households have a member either starting or owning a business. In the past, experts had pegged that number closer to 15%. In all, 37% had some direct small-business experience. ERC, a group of 27 universities and small-business organizations, plans an 18-month study tracking 2,000 startups, if it can get the funding.

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