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Small Business Owners Run In The Family

Written by Ken Gaebler
Published: 12/23/2009

Evidence suggests many entrepreneurs had SMB-owning parents.

That Mom and Pop shop down the street was likely started by the current owner's mom and pop. A study from the Kauffman Foundation last summer revealed that nearly half of business founders had a parent who started a small business. Now, USA Today shares some more familial news for small business owners, reporting that DNA is one of the most common things among entrepreneurs.

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Vivek Wadhwa, senior research associate at the Labor & Worklife Program, told the source that entrepreneurial family members more frequently give the "coaching and emotional support" needed to take the leap into business.

Moreover, many SMB owners told USA Today that entrepreneurial families offer more than guidance and encouragement; they offer their children a view of a lifestyle that motivates burgeoning entrepreneurs.

"I grew up watching my grandfather and parents work very hard," says Barbie Adler, founder of Chicago-based matchmaking firm Selective Search. She always aspired to match their dedication to their work. "They had a great work ethic and never complained," she says.

While SMB owners in the family may offer a big push towards a life of entrepreneurship, the economic downturn is also giving many young people motivation for self-employment. According to the Wall Street Journal, the number of 20- to 24-year-olds who are starting their own businesses is growing as unemployment rates climb.

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