by Bridget Weston Pollack

You already know who Millennials are: people born between 1982 and 2000. But who are Millennipreneurs?

They may not be small business owners (yet!), but entrepreneurship plays a significant role in their lives.

According to a survey of millennials by EY and Economic Innovation Group, 78 percent consider entrepreneurs successful, and 62 percent have considered starting their own business. Fifty-five percent believe their generation is more entrepreneurial than past ones, although the data says otherwise: Millennials are actually less likely to be entrepreneurs than people in other age groups.

At age 30, millennials owned fewer businesses than Gen-Xers or Baby Boomers at the same age. According to census data from 2014, fewer than two percent of Millennials said they were self-employed, while 7.6 percent of Gen-X’ers surveyed and 8.3 percent of Baby Boomers reported the same status.

Why do Millennials choose entrepreneurship?

Millennipreneurs want to start businesses for similar reasons of all age groups: desire to be your own boss (40%), want flexibility (21%) and want to be passionate about the work you do (21%), according to a survey by Wells Fargo.

But like many entrepreneurs, Millennial business owners face financial challenges. Forty-two percent say they don’t have the financial means to start a business. And two thirds have at least one source of long-term debt already, whether it be a student loan, car payment or mortgage. Among college educated millennials, a staggering 81 percent have at least one source of long-term debt, according to a 2014 report from the Filene Research Institute.

However, they still plan for the future with optimism. Millennial business owners have formal business plans, cyber-attack plans and disaster recovering plans at higher rates than older small business owners. They also have business succession plans in the event of an emergency.

Millennipreneurs may do business differently than generations before them, but the passion that drives them is universal. But we all need support. Forbes lists SCORE as one of its top five resources for millennial entrepreneurs. And SCORE is here to help ALL entrepreneurs of any age.


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