Small Business Startup News

Younger Entrepreneurs More Confident About Future Prospects Than Older Peers

Written by Tim Morral
Published: 8/9/2012

Optimism gap separates under-40 entrepreneurs from older entrepreneurs in the current small business economy.

Overall confidence and expectations for the U.S. economy are declining in the small business community. But for entrepreneurs between the ages of 18 and 40, the future looks fairly bright, according to new research from the Q3 Kaufmann/LegalZoom Startup Confidence Index.

Young Entrepreneurs Versus Old Entrepreneurs

In general, the nation's entrepreneurial mood is uncertain with 40 percent of startup small business owners expecting the economy to further decline in the next twelve months -- up from 36 percent in Q2.

Meanwhile, almost all 18 to 30 year-old entrepreneurs (98%) and 83 percent of 31 to 40 year-olds are either confident or very confident that their businesses will experience increased profitability over the next twelve month time period.

"Entrepreneurs require persistence and fortitude," said John Suh, CEO of LegalZoom. "It is encouraging to see that nearly 100 percent of younger entrepreneurs are confident in their future profitability, and this conviction has not been affected by the current economic climate."

Uncertainty About Consumer Demand

In other findings, many entrepreneurs continue to question the stability of consumer demand. In the Q3 Confidence Index, approximately one-third of entrepreneurs said that they expect consumer demand to erode significantly over the next twelve months, up 6 percent from Q2 and 8 percent from Q1.

Yet despite anticipated volatility in consumer demand, 30 percent of startup owners still plan to hire additional staff before the end of the year using Internet recruiting and other strategies. "While overall confidence has fallen, it is encouraging that these businesses have decided to start up in the first place even amid continuing uncertainty over the macro-economy," said Dane Stangler, director of research and policy at the Kauffman Foundation.

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