A new survey, “The Millennial Economy,” has offered up a lot of data on how millennials see the economy today, and for the moment, the economic outlook is fairly bleak.
While a majority of millennials love the idea of startups and entrepreneurship, most of them consider a startup a dream deferred, thanks to crippling student debt which makes them believe that startups are impossible. Unfortunately, many are assuming the only way to survive is to join the corporate workforce. No less than 55% consider their generation “more entrepreneurial” than the previous generation, as well as the Baby Boomer generation that preceded them. But the reality is far different: there are actually fewer entrepreneurs among millennials, and only 22% believe that starting one’s own company offers the greatest chance of success.
The biggest damage factor is a lack of capital (which makes up 42% of millennials surveyed) and massive debt caused by student loans (which 48% of millennials believe has hampered their ability to start a business. Many want to start a business (a full 62%) and 72% understand that startups are “essential for new innovation and jobs”. Unfortunately, this is juxtaposed against a very pessimistic view of the future, and many millennials are placing the blame on government policy.
The end result is that 44 percent of millennials believe that the best way to advance one’s career is sticking with a company and moving up the corporate ladder. Contrary to the stereotype that millennials are disloyal at their companies and ready to jump ship, only 25% believe that switching jobs constantly is a good idea. Ironically, a majority consider entrepreneurs successful, but only a small minority believe that they can be successful with their own startups.
Thus, the challenges facing the newest generation entering the workforce are immense, and a lot is due to perception concerning what it takes to be an entrepreneur. Faced against rising debts and bleak economic prospects in the workforce, millennials will hopefully shift towards entrepreneurship that they believe in and hope for as the best personal economic solution.