Think millennials are lazy and entitled? Think again. Not only will those tattooed, avocado-eating hipsters make up 75% of the workforce by 2025, but a substantial portion of them will be small business owners.
Millennials are launching businesses at nearly twice the rate of previous generations, and they’re launching younger: while Boomers started their businesses at an average age of 35, millennials become entrepreneurs at the ripe ol’ age of 27. In fact, a recent study found that 24% of millennials own or have owned a small business and 34% have been part of a startup.
Why are millennials moving so swiftly from lemonade stands to startups? They’re as optimistic about small business as they are about their well-coiffed beards. While Boomers believe there’s more job security in working for a larger company, 61% of millennials believe that small business ownership offers more security. And Wells Fargo reports that a whopping 77% of millennial business owners “are optimistic that their businesses will improve in the coming year,” with 74% expecting an increase in their customer base and 71% anticipating higher profitability.
Lifestyle preferences also play a part in the millennial entrepreneurial spirit. The same Wells Fargo report found that millennials are often motivated to start their own businesses so they can have “more flexibility in terms of when, where, and how” they work and feel passionately about the work they’re involved in.
As with every generation of small business owners before them, there’s one area where millennials still struggle: getting capital. Of those surveyed by Wells Fargo, 59% feel that they’re unlikely to be given a loan or line of credit due to the small size of their businesses. But with lending marketplaces continually improving access to small business loans, millennials are likely to find sure financial footing in the coming years.
So what’s next? 49% of millennials intend to start their own business within the next 3 years. The future of small business is upon us and the next generation of entrepreneurs is ready, with their organic local coffees in hand.