Studies Show College Graduates Want to Start a Business

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The rallying cry of Washington politicians continues to be the widely held view that the nation needs more small businesses. Without the formation of LLCs and other small businesses, the economy won’t return to what it once was. Large corporations are taking their manufacturing facilities overseas or employing the use of robotics. This has caused the large scale hiring that was once characteristic of these companies to dry up.

This trend has two implications: First, if they aren’t hiring and jobs are permanantly lost, a large number of jobs that were lost during the economic downturn may never return. Second, with graduates finding a challenging job market as they enter the workforce, starting their own business may be one of the few options for them.

A recent study of the Millennial Generation, people ages 18-34, are excited about the prospect of going it alone. This study, reported by the Kauffman Foundation found that 54% of those surveyed were either planning to start a business or had already done so and the results are even better in people of color. 64% of Latinos and 63% of African Americans reported their intention to be an entrepreneur.

Still, challenges remain. The study also revealed that only 8% of the 54% actually own businesses now and only 11% intend to start businesses in the near future. When asked why they didn’t have more immediate plans, they reported a general lack of confidence in the near term health of the economy.

In addition, the barrier of entry in to business ownership remains high despite Washington’s attempts to encourage small business formation and growth. 83% of those surveyed want Congress to increase access to small business loans and they want  it to be a top congressional priority.

92% want to see more government effort put in to training people how to be entrepreneurs. More than 60% reported that they didn’t feel they had the knowledge to run a business of their own and 81% want to see student loan relief and believe without the high cost of those loan payments, more recent graduates will start their own business since they could afford to live on less income while their business grows.

Despite the economic headwinds, these results represent an encouraging trend toward entrepreneurship, something that struggled during recent generations where baby boomers went to work for large corporations and remained loyal to them until they retired. As that trend has become a thing of the past, new workers have had to rethink their role in the American workforce.