Millennial Entrepreneurs: America’s Best or Worst Entrepreneurial Generation?

Millennial Entrepreneurs: America's Best or Worst Entrepreneurial Generation?

Millennial Entrepreneurs: America’s Best or Worst Entrepreneurial Generation?

Deciding to put it all on the line as an entrepreneur is a complex decision that depends on many variables. It’s a psychological decision. It’s a financial decision. It’s a decision based on the perception of risks and the potential payoff. It’s a family and societal decision: is it better to just toe the line to ensure a steady family income, or will there be no support in the event of failure?

Strictly by definition, every generation is different. We’re shaped by the culture, technology, values, and events of our times, and it is constantly in flux. This relates to something as nuanced as entrepreneurship, as it is highly dependent on people’s attitudes and the financial opportunity of the time.

Millennials, many born in the 1980s, are entering their prime years for entrepreneurship right now. Today’s infographic compiles some of the statistics and attitudes on millennials regarding starting a business.

It turns out that the data points both ways.

Millennials could be the best entrepreneurial generation based mainly on education and technology. The millennials are the most educated generation, and many are taking MBAs as well as taking entrepreneurship courses. Further, the technology of today allows companies to startup especially in areas of technology for very little capital.

Millennials could also be a lost entrepreneurial generation based on their personal finances and lack of employment experience or participation. The average amount of outstanding loans is growing for young people, and median wealth for young people is going down, not up. Even worse, many millennials still have trouble getting jobs. Labour force participation for people aged 16-24 dropped from 66% to 55% over the last 20 years. There’s also less entrepreneurs aged 20-34 today than in previous years. In 1996, 35% of people in that group were entrepreneurs. Today it is 23%.

As a positive caveat, technology has allowed more young entrepreneurs than every before to amass great amounts of wealth through startups such as Facebook, Snapchat, and other tech businesses.

Original graphic from: State of Entrepreneurship 2015


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