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Survey: The "New Normal" Hasn't Dampened Teens' Interest in Becoming Entrepreneurs

Research by Junior Achievement and Brian Hamilton Foundation Shows Teens' Interest In Startups Is Still High, Despite Pandemic's Impact on Small Business

A new survey for Junior Achievement (JA) and the Brian Hamilton Foundation by research firm ENGINE Insights shows that teens remain open to becoming an entrepreneur and starting a business despite the impact of COVID-19 on U.S. small businesses. Two-thirds (66%) of teens between the ages of 13 and 17 said they were "likely" to consider starting a business or becoming an entrepreneur as an adult. A similar survey conducted in 2017 showed that nearly the same percentage of teens (69%) were likely to start a business then. The 2020 survey of 1,000 teens was conducted from May 14 to 20, 2020.

"Small business is the backbone of the American economy and the driver of job growth," said Jack E. Kosakowski, President and CEO of Junior Achievement USA. "Despite the effects of the COVID-19 shutdown on the business community, it is encouraging to see the next generation still interested in considering entrepreneurship as a career path. We must encourage that interest going forward."

"With all of the very-public challenges facing small businesses today, I was glad to see the survey results reflecting that current economic conditions have not reduced interest in entrepreneurship among teens," said Charlie Bradley, CEO of the Brian Hamilton Foundation.

"It's notable that almost 30 percent of teens responded that their greatest concern about starting a business is the risk involved," Bradley continued. "We recommend that youth start businesses now, as teens, for just that reason. When you're young, there is almost no downside to failure."

Other findings of the survey include:

  • Nearly a third of teens (29%) said their greatest concern about starting a business is that it's "too risky," while a quarter (24%) don't believe there's "enough money in it." Fewer (18%) said it didn't "fit my personality/skills."
  • Most teens (52%) said they need "someone to invest" in their business to consider being an entrepreneur. Nearly as many (51%) said they would need "more information on what it would take to be successful" and (47%) said they would need "support from parents and family." Around a third of teens (38%) would need "friends with similar interest" to team with them, and a similar amount (34%) would need "a role model who is a business owner."

The survey was conducted in support of a virtual event featuring entrepreneur and Shark Tank "shark" Mark Cuban and fintech entrepreneur Brian Hamilton.

As an extension of its digital and experiential learning resources, Junior Achievement is partnering with the Brian Hamilton Foundation, the Mark Cuban Foundation, and Microsoft, to host "Why Entrepreneurship Now: A Virtual Event for America's Teens" taking place live on May 27 at 3 p.m. ET and available as a recording afterward.

Hosted by Harris Faulkner, anchor of Fox News Channel's "Outnumbered Overtime" and co-host of "Outnumbered," this unique interactive event gives teens across America the opportunity to ask questions of some of the country's most experienced entrepreneurs. The panelists offer simple, straightforward strategies to empower participants to start the entrepreneurial journey in their youth and lay the foundation for a successful future.

Panelists include:

  • Brian Hamilton, National Entrepreneur Educator, Co-founder of Sageworks, Philanthropist, Founder of the Brian Hamilton Foundation and Inmates to Entrepreneurs
  • Mark Cuban, Co-star, ABC's "Shark Tank," owner of the NBA's Dallas Mavericks and Author, "How to Win at the Sport of Business" and "Kid Startup"

Students, parents, and teachers can learn more here

Methodology

This Youth CARAVAN survey was conducted by ENGINE INSIGHTS among a sample of 1,000 respondents aged 13-17. This survey was live on May 14-20, 2020.

Respondents for this survey were selected from among those who have volunteered to participate in online surveys and polls. The data have been weighted to reflect the demographic composition of the 18+ population. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to multiple sources of error, including, but not limited to sampling error, coverage error, error associated with nonresponse, error associated with question wording and response options, and post-survey weighting and adjustments.

About the Brian Hamilton Foundation

The Brian Hamilton Foundation's mission is to open the door to entrepreneurship for all Americans by sharing with them the resources necessary to start, run, and grow successful businesses. To learn more, visit https://brianhamilton.org.

About the Mark Cuban Foundation

Mark Cuban is an entrepreneur, investor, proprietor of the Dallas Mavericks, and "Shark" on the hit ABC show "Shark Tank." Mark gives back to the communities that promoted his success through The Mark Cuban Foundation. The Foundation's AI Bootcamps Initiative hosts free Introduction to AI Bootcamps for low-income high schoolers, starting in Dallas, Texas. Learn more about the AI Bootcamps Initiative at: http://www.markcubanai.org

About Microsoft 

Microsoft is on a mission to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more. Visit Microsoft.com to view current product and service offerings.

Media Contacts:

Ed Grocholski
Junior Achievement USA
719-540-6165

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