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Small Business Administration: What's a Millennipreneur?

Des Moines Startups Millienipreneurs

April 18, 2017

Understanding Millennipreneurs

Millennipreneurs are business owners born between 1982 and 2000. Like their predecessors, the “Baby Boomers” and the “Gen X-ers,” they have their reasons for wanting to start their own small businesses:

  • 40 percent want to be their own boss.
  • 21 percent want passion in their job.
  • 21 percent desire flexibility in time/location.
  • 6 percent are looking for challenge/growth.
  • 6 percent are having difficulty finding a job.
  • 6 percent were laid off from a prior job.

Challenges of Millenipreneurs

But Millennials have some challenges facing them that are having a bigger impact on them then previous generations. When comparing percentages of Millennials who are self-employed by age 30, they lag behind, with only 4 percent of millennials being self-employed by 30 vs. 5.3 percent of Gen-Xers and 6.5 percent of Baby Boomers. One of the biggest reasons for this lag is debt. Over 42 percent of Millennials say they don’t have the financial means to start a business. Over 81 percent of college educated Millennials have at least one source of debt, and 30 percent have more than one source of debt.


Despite these challenges, Millennials admire entrepreneurship:

  • 78 percent consider entrepreneurs successful.
  • 62 percent have thought about starting their own small business.
  • 55 percent believe their generation is more entrepreneurial than past generations (even though the data says otherwise).

Even though the data doesn’t support the idea that Millennials are more entrepreneurial than other generations from a numbers standpoint, Millennials small business owners are better prepared for long term success than their predecessors:

  • 35 percent of Millennials have a formal business plan vs. 27 percent of older small business owners.
  • 42 percent of Millennials have a cyber-attack plan vs. 13 percent of older small business owners.
  • 51 percent of Millennials have a disaster recovery plan vs. 30 percent of older small business owners.
  • 61 percent of Millennials have a business success plan vs. 32 percent of older small business owners.
  • 77 percent of Millennials are optimistic about “next year” vs. 51 percent of older small business owners.

The U.S. Small Business Administration and its resource partners have a number of programs and services for entrepreneurs of all ages.



Learn about other Staffing & Hiring resources for your small business in The Partnership’s Small Business Resources Hub or sign up for the Small Business Resources newsletter and stay connected for information about upcoming events, other resources and the latest announcements in the small business community in Greater Des Moines (DSM).

Dave Lentell

Dave Lentell is the lead lender relations specialist with the U.S. Small Business Administration's (SBA's) Iowa District Office. He helps coordinate SBA's small business loan programs in the state of Iowa and promotes SBA's programs to the small business community. He has been with SBA since 1993.