According to a new Global Entrepreneurship Monitor report, youth, as a group, have shown a significantly higher level of entrepreneurial spirit and ambition than the adults who have preceded them. The youth age group, defined by GEM in their study, includes adults ages 18 to 34.
Throughout five world regions, youth are 1.6 times more likely to want to start a business than are adults. The five regions include: sub-Saharan Africa, Middle East and North Africa, Suth and East Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, and the European culture countries. The study analyzed data collected between 2012 and 2014, and gives great insight into what is driving young entrepreneurs and what impacts their success as well as failures.
“A shortage of employment opportunities, especially amongst the youth, is a major problem in the world,” stated Mike Herrington, executive director of GEM. “This has been exacerbated by the financial crisis and global economic downturn. Fostering effective entrepreneurial activity among the youth is seen as a critical development strategy in order to integrate them into the labor market and harness their potential to contribute to sustainable economic development.”
Despite the high frequency of youth starting businesses, adults still appear to run more mature businesses. According to Thomas Schott, Professor in the the Department of Entrepreneurship and Relationship Management at the University of Southern Denmark and lead author of the report, 73% of businesses run by youth under 24 years of age are one-person businesses and are less likely to be running businesses that have survived beyond their first three-and-a-half years. Adversely, adults over 34 years of age are 1.7 times more likely than youth to be running mature businesses.
The findings in the report are certainly promising as it shows an eagerness from the youth to create, think, and build. However, the report also highlights the need for more entrepreneurship specific training so that they can successfully transition an idea into a reality.
“Appropriate entrepreneurship support policies and programs will help actualize the intentions of the youth, who are currently bearing the brunt of a sluggish global economy,” concludes Herrington.