Millennials Want To Own Businesses But Are Afraid of the Risks
Black Enterprise Magazine September/October 2018 Issue

Millennials have a strong desire to become business owners. But, the peril of doing so is blocking many from taking the plunge, a new report shows.

Some 77% of millennials are holding back because they view business startups as too risky, greater than 55% for Gen Xers and 43% for baby boomers. The findings are based on the latest UBS Investor Watch.

The report, “Who’s the boss?,” collected data from over 2,245 investors, including 1,085 business owners.

Eighty-three percent of millennials conclude the stress of owning a business is too high, while 81% fear the likelihood of business failure. The uncertainty in both categories was lower for Gen Xers and baby boomers.

Nine in 10 millennials contend pursuing a professional career is easier than becoming their own boss. Anecdotally, the idea of coming up with the capital to launch a business and feeling more secure working for a company are among reasons some millennials are backing way from entrepreneurship.

The revelations are a big shift from how millennials’ parents looked at business ownership. Current business owners, most of whom are baby boomers, started businesses when they were just 25 years old, on average, according to the report.

At the same time, a robust 72% of millennials would consider starting a business. Forty-one percent would do so to be their own boss, 36% to pursue a passion, and 29% for financial gain.

Sameer Aurora, UBS Global Wealth Management’s head of client strategy, commented on the findings in a press release.

“Many millennials joined the workforce in a tough job market, whether it was during the dot.com bubble burst of 2000 or the Great Recession of 2008. These factors likely contribute to a more conservative outlook when it comes to business risk and can prompt many millennials to seek job security in larger corporations as opposed to startups.”

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Jeffrey McKinney

Jeffrey McKinney is a long-time freelance business writer and reporter, contributing to Black Enterprise magazine for several years on broad range of business and financial topics. He also writes regularly for Franchise Times, a highly regarded publication covering the franchise industry.


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