Have you paid back your debts and used credit responsibily since then? I'd be really surprised if you had made amends and your credit report was still hosed.
Now if you are saying you don't think your credit report should reflect unpaid debts even though they were 'years ago', that is fundamentally unfair to those that use credit responsibly. Everyone else pays more interest to make up for those that default. There is really no argument to be made that you shouldn't have to be squared up on your debts to get more loans.
And no matter how many hours you claim to want to work, if you think not being able to get credit destines you to poverty you don't understand credit. Credit doesn't make you any richer, it just time shifts future income to a lump sum in the present. It is the inverse of savings. In fact it makes you poorer unless you do something with the money that earns a greater return than the cost of the loan.
So are you saying you are going to take out a loan with a 100% chance you need to repay it and start a business with a 50/50 or worse chance of working out? And if it fails you will default on the loan? Because if you are complaining about poverty now, wait until you have a loan for a business that failed miserably, then you will be really screwed. So funding a business on credit a fundamentally risky thing and if you already have one black mark on your credit report it is probably not a good avenue for you anyway.
And don't say that not having credit means you can't start your business. The above paragraph explains why I'm not starting my business on credit. I'm funding it by saving. I work 40-70 hours a week (certainly not 100, I physically couldn't do that). I do 40-50 at my salaried job, and about 1-20 on starting by business outside of work depending on if I work all weekend or not. Does it suck not having free time? Absolutely. But at the end of the day my business is funded from my own cashflow, with no debt or interest to anyone. And no matter how bad your credit history is, you can always save and bootstrap like that.
Blaming being unable to start a business on people not willing to lend you their money is just an excuse. At the end of the day your credit score, whether or not you start a business, this is all under your own control.
(And if HN doesn't mind a plug, I personally learned a lot from Ric Edelman, he has a free podcast and a personal finance 101 book called the Truth about Money that I learned quite a bit from, but the fundamental thing he preaches is simple math. Make more money than you spend)