It’s no secret that millennials are embracing entrepreneurship at a rate previously unseen among baby boomers and Gen X. Dubbed the “true entrepreneur generation” by Forbes magazine, many millennials tout themselves as natural self-starters.

But just how entrepreneurial is Gen Y? While many have made significant strides to launch their own companies and businesses, the number of self-employed millennials might actually surprise you.

Along with that figure, here are six other facts you may not have known about millennial entrepreneurs.

1. The new term is “Millenipreneurs.”
Well, that’s according to BNP Paribas, who recently released their 2016 Global Entrepreneurship Report. The report, which surveyed 2,600 entrepreneurs in 18 countries, found that millennial entrepreneurs are creating more companies, with a higher headcount and greater profit ambitions. On average, they launch eight companies (compared to just 3.5 among their predecessors) and have a turnover of more than 43 per cent that of the baby boomer generation.

2. Who run the world? Girls.
The same study also found that women entrepreneurs tend to be more successful than their male counterparts. While 61 per cent of surveyed women expected to either grow or maintain a stable profit in the following year, nearly three quarters of millennial women expected this same outcome.

Millennial women entrepreneurs also reported revenues more than double those of their female predecessors.

*Flips hair.*

3. Women seem to be covered, but what about minorities?
Women entrepreneurs have managed to scratch the glass ceiling faster than millennial entrepreneurs of colour. According to a report by Young Invincibles, a U.S. based non-profit that represents the interests and perspectives of millennials, more than a quarter of young entrepreneurs are members of a visible minority, compared to nearly three quarters who are white.

4. Truth time: Is Gen Y really a generation of entrepreneurs?
The truth is that millennials are in fact, quite far from being a “true entrepreneur generation,” as Forbes suggests. According to a study conducted by the Small Business Administration (SBA) in 2014, less than two per cent of millennials are actually self-employed, compared to 7.6 per cent of Gen Xers and 8.3 per cent of baby boomers.

5. In fact, millennials are falling behind. Big time.
Speaking to the U.S. Senate last year, John W. Lettieri, co-founder and senior director for policy and strategy at the Economic Innovation Group, said “millennials are on track to be the least entrepreneurial generation in recent history.” Citing a Wall Street Journal analysis of Federal Reserve data, Lettieri highlighted a declining rate of self-employment among millennials, along with the fact that the share of people under 30 who own a business is currently at a quarter century low.


6. So, what’s behind the disappointing numbers?
Based on the evidence, it’s fair to say millennials haven’t exactly lived up to high expectations of them. But in fairness, this failure isn’t entirely their own doing. The economy, still recovering from the 2008 financial crisis, has left Gen Y with bleak employment prospects. Paired with increasing amounts of student debt (in Canada, the average student owes over $25,000 after graduation while in the U.S., this number is just over $35,000), millennials often lack the financial means to start their own businesses.

Financial debt of any amount can impact the ability to launch a startup, but for millennials, this impact is even greater. As millennials often have smaller incomes, it can be significantly difficult to obtain credit or secure a loan. A U.S. survey done by EY found that 42 per cent of millennials said a lack of finances was the biggest obstacle they faced starting a business.

7. What can we expect for the future of millennial entrepreneurs?
In light of a declining rate of self-employment among millennials, Gen Y continues to have great admiration for entrepreneurship. With 90 per cent recognizing it as a mentality, they recognize and respect the value of a startup venture.

Millennials continue to make the necessary educational advancements often needed to become successful entrepreneurs. Now the most educated generation in America, the number of college entrepreneurship courses has increased by a multiple of 20 since 1985.

When it comes to millennial entrepreneurship, there’s disappointment, frustration and hope. But which will decide the fate of the “Millenipreneur?” We’ll have to wait and see.

But that’s just According to Adrienne.


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