Given the statistics, it would be surprising if Millennials did not turn out to be the most entrepreneurial generation ever.
They say entrepreneurs are born, not bred, and perhaps it’s true. But that doesn’t mean that Millennials aren’t better prepared for business ownership than previous generations. Whether they develop into the most entrepreneurial generation ever – and how long they can hold on to the title if they do – remains to be seen.
The Kauffman Foundation’s Infographic titled Millennial Entrepreneurs and the State of Entrepreneurship offers insights that explain why Millennials might be better prepared to start and run successful businesses than previous generations.
5 Reasons Millennials Will Be the Most Entrepreneurial Generation Ever
Born to Be… Dominant
Now aged 20-36, the 85 million American Millennials could represent 75 percent of the nation’s workforce by 2025. While you might think of startups in terms of single 20-somethings in casual attire dot-comming their way to overnight success, in reality, the average entrepreneur is 40 when they launch their startup. So if you’ve been wondering where all the long-promised hoards of Millennial entrepreneurs are right now, don’t worry, they’re coming.
Born to Be… Savvy
Millennials are the most educated generation ever. From 2007-2013 there were 13 percent more 25-29 year olds with bachelor’s degrees and 18 percent more 25-29 year olds with master’s degrees or higher.
If education in general is a key contributor to entrepreneurial success, this generation is ready. If entrepreneurial education is a key contributor, this generation is armed to the teeth. Entrepreneurship classes have exploded on college campuses in the US. In 1985 there were an average of 250 entrepreneurship courses available on a college campus; in 2008, that number was 5,000.
Born to Be… Off to the Races
Before 1990, only 7 percent of self-employed business school alums launched a business when they graduated. From 1990-1999 that percentage doubled and grew to 24 percent for business school alumni from 2000-2009. From 2010-2013, that number exploded, with 45 percent of business school alumni launching a startup when they graduated.
Born to Be… Concerned
Millennials’ penchant for worrying about money, salaries, security and the future is well-founded. Many grew into adulthood and entered the workforce not only at the height of the Great Recession (followed by a jobless recovery that lasted for several years) but who also came into their adult work life saddled by more debt in the form of student loans (to pay for all that education!).
More than 7 out of 10 Millennials have thought about launching their own business, which should mean they have no trouble becoming the most entrepreneurial generation ever. That said, 4 out of 10 said they didn’t think it was within their reach, given lack of capital needed for a startup.
Millennials have also seen a drop of 43 percent in median net worth for households under 35. And many found it difficult to participate in the labor force as teens, whether from choice or lack of jobs in the Great Recession and subsequent job less recovery. While 66 percent of young adults age 16-24 participated in the workforce in 1992, only 55 percent of young adults age 16-24 did the same in 2012. Today’s Millennials also find themselves increasingly underemployed as well. In every age group, more than 2x as many Millennials were underemployed at the start of the Great Recession in 2009 than the same age groups were just two years before.
Born to Be… Risk Averse – Fearless
The oldest Millennials are just now approaching “prime time” when it comes to the age most entrepreneurs launch a business. While Millennials faced some challenges coming out of the gate there’s no reason to believe that they won’t make up ground quickly as the economy continues to grow. They have the inspiration, education and now many have the hands-on work experience needed to successfully start and run a business, and take their place as the most entrepreneurial generation ever.
Millennials are super-capable, tech-savvy and independent thinkers. The first generation of digital natives, there’s no screen they can’t conquer and little-to-no learning curve when it comes to technology. They aren’t inclined to believe they need to work in the trenches or earn their wings before they try to fly. We can’t wait to see how high they go.
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