Expectations for the U.S. economy declined overall, but there is a significant optimism gap between older entrepreneurs and those between the ages of 18 and 40, according to the third-quarter Kauffman/LegalZoom Startup Confidence Index, compiled by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and LegalZoom. Specifically, 98 percent of the 18- to 30-year-olds and 83 percent of the 31- to 40-year-olds are confident or very confident that their businesses will realize greater profitability in the next 12 months. Overall, almost 40 percent of startup owners now believe the economy will deteriorate over the next 12 months, an increase from 36 percent in the second-quarter survey and 31 percent in the first-quarter survey. Entrepreneurs who were somewhat confident in future profitability fell from 43 percent in second quarter to 40 percent in the third-quarter survey, and those who lacked confidence in improved profitability edged up from 18 percent to 21 percent.
However, 30 percent of startup owners said they plan to hire additional staff in 2012, a slight decrease from 33 percent in the March survey. Representatives of Kauffman said that state-by-state breakdowns of the data were not available because the sample size would be too small to be statistically significant.
A week ago, Connecticut headquartered Pitney Bowes Inc. launched the Pitney Bowes Entrepreneurial Competition, an innovation-focused contest targeting startup and entrepreneurial organizations. The Company also announced its participation in the sponsorship program conducted by the Stamford Innovation Center, which provides startup-centric programs to accelerate entrepreneurial efforts.
The Pitney Bowes Entrepreneurial Competition is designed to identify and drive the development of growth businesses that can leverage three of the Company's technology areas: Spectrum(R) Spatial analytics and location intelligence; the secure evidencing platform; and the Connect+(R) web-enabled digital envelope and mail printing system.
Winners of the Entrepreneurial Competition will receive one year free utilization of office space and internet access in Pitney Bowes's world headquarters, located in Stamford, Conn.; access to the three aforementioned Pitney Bowes technology platforms corresponding to their submission, including Pitney Bowes' technical and business expertise; and an introduction and access to the Stamford Innovation Center, and their mentoring and coaching services.
The Pitney Bowes Entrepreneurial Competition runs through September 7, 2012. Information is available at www.pb.com/competition .