Copyright © TIGERS Success Series by Dianne Crampton

The millennial generation – adults from 18 to 34 years of age – have long been considered the entrepreneurial generation. In previous posts we have reported how many organizations need them to bridge the worker gap once the baby boomers retire.  Now it appears, according to a new poll, this group will be launching businesses on their own.

 In a beleaguered economy, the United States needs entrepreneurs – the nation’s job creators. Fortunately, a recent nationwide cell phone and landline survey conducted by the Young Invincibles in conjunction with Lake Research Partners and Bellwether Research and funded by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, polled 872 Millennials on their thoughts about the economy and entrepreneurship.

The results show that this group of well-educated, team savvy adults is an entrepreneurial bunch. A few key barriers are holding them back, especially the economy.  With the world getting ready for Global Entrepreneurship Week, Nov. 14-20, hearing what young people think about starting businesses is especially timely.

According to the findings, “Fifty-four percent of the nation’s Millennials either want to start a business or already have started one. They recognize that entrepreneurship is the key to reviving the economy.”

 “This poll reveals a generation that is enthusiastic about entrepreneurship, and that is good news for the U.S.,” said Carl Schramm, president and CEO of the Kauffman Foundation. “Fifty-four percent of the nation’s Millennials either want to start a business or already have started one. They recognize that entrepreneurship is the key to reviving the economy.”

An even higher percentage of young people of color – 64 percent of Latinos and 63 percent of African-Americans – expressed a desire to start their own companies. Women, on the other hand, are less likely to want to start their own businesses than men are (44 percent of women vs. 57 percent of men).

Despite Millennials’ strong entrepreneurial drive, just 8 percent of them own businesses now, and only 11 percent intend to start businesses within the next year. Thirty-eight percent of the potential young entrepreneurs say they have delayed starting a business because of the economy.

“An astounding number of young people want to start a business one day,” said Aaron Smith, co-founder and Executive Director of  Young Invincibles. “And they overwhelmingly support action on the part of their leaders to remove barriers to these dreams.”

The poll points out specific barriers to entrepreneurship, including the inability to access capital needed to get a business going, lack of knowledge needed to run a small business, concerns with overcoming current debt burdens, and few mentors from whom they can learn. In fact, 65 percent of young people think that making it easier to start a business should be a priority for Congress, with 41 percent saying it should be a top priority. Eighty-three percent of Millennials believe that Congress should, at a minimum, increase the availability of startup loans.

Even more respondents – 92 percent – support increased access to the education and training needed to run a small business as a way to encourage people to become entrepreneurs, and 81 percent of the young people surveyed support student loan relief for Millennials who start companies.

One of the most important factors facing any entrepreneur is choosing from the start the type of business culture that will enhance how workers work together, treat customers and respond to scalable growth solutions. This is probably why members of the millennial generation are showing such a high interest in the TIGERS Team Wheel and other TIGERS Success Series team culture development resources.

About Young Invincibles

Young Invincibles is a national non-profit, non-partisan youth organization committed to mobilizing and expanding opportunity for all young Americans between 18 and 34 years of age.  

Photo credit: iStock