Jul 01, 2015

Is the American Dream Dead for Small Business Millennials?

With Independence Day just around the corner we reflect not only on the birth of our country, but also, the sacrifices and choices made so we can all live the American Dream. Unfortunately some Americans aren’t so sure that the American Dream is still achievable today. Let’s talk about this.

How could the dream, “The belief that anyone, regardless of where they were born or what class they were born into, can attain their own version of success in a society where upward mobility is possible for everyone” no longer be attainable?

John F. Kennedy once said, “All of us do not have equal talent, but all of us should have an equal opportunity to develop our talents.” I may not be the perfect example, but I do believe the American Dream is still very much intact. Kennedy’s idea, along with working with small businesses, has helped me realize that access to capital is fundamental to the American Dream.

Entrepreneurs are the difference makers in our economy, and it is our mission at Lendio to support and help the 28 million small businesses throughout America. It is their dreams of courage, determination, and hard work that empower us daily to truly become who we want to be.

Who is Beginning to Run Small Business America?

Leading the charge are optimistic, ethically conscious, tech-savvy millennials. These business owners started their business to bring something new to the marketplace. They believe small businesses are vital to a healthy economy. They are practical in their approach to business ownership and prioritize honesty and respect as guiding values that drive them forward.

Today, millennials make up about 25% of American workers, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. By 2020, that number will grow to more than 40%.

Small Business Millennials Keeping the Dream Alive

Millennials are amazingly optimistic, innovative and courageous. They are willing to speak their minds and are big on communication. They’re self-starters, entrepreneurial in spirit, and can bring new perspectives to old ways of doing things. In short, millennials are the new life of small business.

How Do We Sustain the American Dream?

Millennial business owners haven’t been in business nearly as long as everyone else and banks won’t usually provide a loan to a company that’s been in business under a year. That’s when we turn to alternative financing options. The majority of these services can be found on the internet and having grown up with Amazon and Google, millennials are more comfortable finding things they need online.

There’s also this thing called innovation. They have seen the way other businesses have gone through the bank system, and they’re thinking, there has to be an easier way!

Maybe it’s “arrogance of youth,” but it seems the millennial generation realizes just because that’s the way it’s been done for years, doesn’t mean it’s the best way.

I’m a big fan of my generation, and watching them disrupt industries that have been stale for a long time is refreshing to watch. I think it’s safe to say that the American Dream is not dead for small business, not yet. Not when small business millennials are just getting started.

It takes a little cash to change the world.

So what are you waiting for?

About the author

Adam Michaelson
Adam heads up product strategy at Lendio. He's been leading software product/design teams since 2001. See Adam's Profile on LinkedIn


  1. Hello,

    I am looking to be put in contact with the online editor of Lendio.

    I read this article titled: ‘Is the American Dream Dead for Small Business Millennials?’ which I thoroughly enjoyed and I was keen to get in touch.

    I have an article that I think you will find of interest for publication on your site and I’d love to hear your thoughts.

    It’s titled: ‘What will a millennial-dominant workplace look like in the future?’.

    I look forward to hearing from you regarding your interest.

    Yasmine Bachir

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