Survey: Parents Extremely Supportive of Their Teens’ Entrepreneurial Dreams, but Most Teens Don’t Have Them

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Junior Achievement & EY Research Shows Need to Promote Entrepreneurship among Today’s Teens

Dallas, TX – New research conducted by ORC International on behalf of Junior Achievement (JA) and EY shows that nearly nine-in-ten parents (88%) would be extremely or very likely to support their teen’s interest in becoming an entrepreneur as an adult, but less than one-in-three teens (30%) demonstrate that same level of enthusiasm for starting a business. For teens, the greatest concerns for starting a business include it being “too risky” (31%) and “not enough money in it” (22%). Only 16 percent of teens indicate they have no concerns about trying. Conversely, 53 percent of parents have no concerns about their teen starting a business as an adult. Those citing concerns focused on it being “too risky” (27%) and there being “not enough money in it” (9%).

“These results speak to some of the challenges facing the nation when it comes to business creation,” said Jan Murfield, JA Dallas CFRE President.  “Since the Great Recession in 2008, the country has been experiencing a net decline in business start-ups. Today’s young people grew up in the shadow of the Financial Crisis, which may explain their risk-aversion when it comes to taking the entrepreneurial leap. This is why we need to promote the benefits of entrepreneurship early and often.”

The survey was conducted to coincide with EY’s support of Junior Achievement’s JA Launch Lesson, a program delivered by community entrepreneurs whereby high school students gain firsthand knowledge about starting a business and the entrepreneurial journey. JA Launch Lesson is a 50-minute educational experience that creates a point-of-entry for students, volunteers, and educators.

Starting in November during National Entrepreneurship month, the JA Launch Lesson program will be delivered by entrepreneurs in classrooms, after-school facilities, and other student venues across the United States. Entrepreneurs are given the opportunity to connect with students, provide relevant information about their company and entrepreneurial journey, and share advice and next steps for students who are interested in starting their own business.

Teens were also asked what they would need in order to consider becoming an entrepreneur. About half said they would need “more information on what it takes to be successful” (51%), “investors” (50%) and “support from parents” (49%). About a third said they would need “a role model who is a business owner” (35%) and “friends with a similar interest” (32%).

“Entrepreneurs are the driving force behind growth and positive change, and at EY we believe it is vital to help enable our future generation of innovators,” said Randy Cain, Vice Chair and Southwest Region Managing Partner, Ernst & Young LLP, and JA USA board member. “Creative, hands-on programs such as JA Launch Lesson are critical to providing our youth with the tools, information and resources necessary to succeed when starting their own business.”

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