The one thing holding back U.S. startups

$1.2 trillion in U.S. student loan debt isn't doing entrepreneurs any favors.

Compared to some countries , the United States doesn't have a lack of funders for good business ideas. If you can't get funding from a venture capitalist, you can always turn to the crowd. So what's holding back entrepreneurs from realizing their startup dreams in the U.S.?

The $1.2 trillion mountain of student debt.

The Wall Street Journal reports:

Some academic experts say leftover loans are the biggest impediment to upstart entrepreneurship by those who recently received college or graduate degrees. "I mentor students all the time," says Vivek Wadhwa, a fellow at Stanford University Law School. "The single largest inhibitor to entrepreneurship is the student loans."

Recent graduates and college dropouts account for a disproportionate share of the founders of technology startups that have transformed the economy over the past decade, says Shikhar Ghosh, a senior lecturer at Harvard Business School. Many freshly-minted M.B.A.s "are willing to sleep on a couch for a year or two, but they can't do it with the burden of student loans," he adds.

Fortunately, all is not lost if you're one of those recent grads who wants to start your own company but is stuck with thousands of dollars in debt. Many of the most successful entrepreneurs didn't start their company until 40 . Plenty of time to pay off that debt, right?

Read more: The Wall Street Journal

Photo: Flickr/thisisbossi

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