The Kauffman report was recently released and it talked about Entrepreneurs and the Millennials and Baby Boomers. Jack Schulz from Agracel first shared the news with us. Today we’re reprinting the section on Millennials (Friday – Boomers). What are your thoughts/?
Millennials (born from 1981–1997) have created fewer and fewer businesses since they entered the workforce in the early 2000s, despite expressing strong interest in entrepreneurship and having been exposed more than any previous generation to entrepreneurial training. As they reach the “peak age” for starting companies—around forty—there are reasons to hope that entrepreneurship will grow:
- Millennials, who came of age as the IT revolution flourished, are well positioned to turn new technologies into new entrepreneurial ventures.
- Millennials enjoy near-ubiquitous exposure to entrepreneurship.
- Millennials have high levels of education that will equate to the creation of stronger businesses.
- Millennials, on the cusp of mass entry into the “peak age” bracket for entrepreneurship, will be the largest cohort at these ages in American history.
At the same time, there are reasons to be skeptical about Millennials’ impact on future business creation:
- Saddled with student loan debt, Millennials can’t afford to be entrepreneurs.
- The Great Recession dealt a permanent blow to Millennials’ entrepreneurial potential.
- Fewer young companies, which tend to hire younger workers, will mean fewer exposure opportunities for Millennials, which will mean lower rates of entrepreneurship.
- The explosion of entrepreneurship education on college campuses may not have much impact on actual business creation.
- Millennials won’t have the same social and economic resources at their disposal that past generations did.
There is growing worry over how entrepreneurial the Millennial generation will be. Census data show that the demographic divergence in rates of entrepreneurial activity began in the early 2000s, when the first of the Millennials entered the workforce. Now, the gap has grown wider, and the 2008–09 financial crisis and Great Recession hit the Millennials particularly hard. Surveys show Millennials to be very inclined to potential interest in entrepreneurship, and more and more have been exposed to entrepreneurship at college, but many of them are starting their careers from a negative financial position. As the oldest of the Millennials enter the “peak age” brackets for entrepreneurial propensity, will entrepreneurship explode or continue to languish?