Our economy is in the midst of absorbing the biggest demographic shift since the Second World War. As Baby Boomers continue to exit the workforce, Millennials (those born between 1980 and 1995) will rapidly take their place.
Millennials, however, are not often taken seriously in the workplace and are often dismissed as an entitled “me” generation. At Intuit, we think differently. We believe this generation embodies a bold new entrepreneurial spirit that is going to remake the Canadian economy.
In fact, in an initial survey of Canadians about their plans to start a business in the next year, it really stood out for us that Millennials were definitely interested in becoming entrepreneurs! So we decided to dig a little deeper to understand their motivations and challenges, so spoke with 400+ aspiring Millennial entrepreneurs. Here are some key insights that we found:
From our first survey we found that Millennials are twice as likely as non-Millennials to be likely to start a business in the next year:
• 16 per cent of Millennials are likely to start a business in the next year, compared with 8 per cent of non-Millennials who are planning to do so.
From our second survey, we found the following:
Almost one quarter (23 per cent) of aspiring Millennial business owners are most attracted to being able to work for themselves as a reason for becoming an entrepreneur. Alternative reasons include:
• It allows you to pursue your passion (21 per cent)
• Possibility of financial success (14 per cent)
• The dream of building something (13 per cent)
• Increased flexibility (10 per cent)
Almost half (48 per cent) of Millennials would run a business from their home. Other business locations for Millennials included:
• Primarily online (28 per cent)
• Store front (19 per cent)
• Other (5 per cent)
Over one half (53 per cent) of aspiring Millennial business owners have an entrepreneur in their immediate family.
• 41 per cent talked about entrepreneurship with their families growing up
When it comes to the biggest risk in becoming an entrepreneur, aspiring Millennial business owners are roughly three times more likely (61 per cent) to point to financial risk than they are to point to personal (17 per cent) or career risk (22 per cent)
(Survey Methodology – Two separate studies: For the first, from August 28th to 29th 2013, Angus Reid surveyed 1,002 Canadians about how likely they were to want to create a business in the next year, and is considered accurate within +/-3.1%, 19 times out of 20. The second, with 1,003 aspiring business owners (464 millennials and 539 34+), was conducted Sept 6 -10 and is considered accurate within +/-3.1% (+/- 4.6% among millennials; +/- 4.2% among those 34 years+ ), 19 times out of 20).
As the results clearly indicate, Millennials have an entrepreneurial itch, borne out of necessity, but also a strong streak of individualism. This generation will comprise 75% of the labour force by 2028, and we believe that championing and supporting them will enable us to create a stronger economy for Canada.
Core to this challenge is the issue of financial literacy. Young entrepreneurs need more than just a great idea; they need the financial acumen essential to growing and sustaining a business. We believe it’s crucial to help young entrepreneurs understand the importance of financial management early on so that they can avoid becoming one of the 49% of Canadian entrepreneurs who don’t make it through year five (StatsCan).
The Millennial generation is set to take over the Canadian economy, and we have a precious – once in a generation – opportunity to make sure they get it right. Stay tuned to the Intuit Small Business blog to find out more about how Intuit is helping.
Are you planning to start a business? Tell us in the comments below.