Young Still Want to Be Entrepreneurs
Despite a difficult economic climate, many young Americans are still interested in entrepreneurial pursuits. A Harris Interactive® online poll, conducted on behalf of the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, released in conjunction with the start of Global Entrepreneurship Week, reveals that 40 percent of youth ages eight to 24 would like to start a business at some future point, or already have done so. Additionally, young people are overwhelmingly optimistic about the possibility of owning their own business. Seventy-five percent of the eight- to 12-year-olds, 62 percent of the 13- to 17-year-olds and 62 percent of the 18- to 24-year-olds agree that they can successfully start their own businesses if they work hard.
Results from the August 2010 survey of 5,077 young people are consistent with a previous study conducted in 2007.
“The economic downturn, it seems, has done nothing to dissuade young people from their dreams of business ownership,” said Carl Schramm, president and CEO of the Kauffman Foundation, who kicked off the Week on Friday in front of more than 1,700 entrepreneurs at the Ernst & Young Strategic Growth Forum in Palm Springs, Calif., the largest gathering of high-growth companies in the country. “The survey findings are good news, because economic recovery hinges on entrepreneurship. The survey results also attest that connecting with successful entrepreneurs inspires young people to pursue their entrepreneurial aspirations, which is what Global Entrepreneurship Week was founded, in part, to accomplish.”
The survey shows that youth who know an entrepreneur personally have the strongest interest in starting their own businesses.