NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

A Generation Of Entrepreneurs

May 14, 1998

The study's author, William J. Dennis, found that:

  • Of the 5.6 million Americans who started businesses in 1996, 47 percent were under age 36.
  • Three out of every 10 new business owners were under the age of 30.
  • By contrast, Americans ages 51 to 65 accounted for only 10 percent of those who started or bought a business in 1996.
  • Those ages 41 to 50 accounted for 24 percent of all business starts.

Analysts find it curious that the older generation isn't as entrepreneurial as a group, even though it has had more time to gain experience and accumulate capital.

Dennis discovered that younger entrepreneurs seem to put in just as many hours, have just as many employees and make as large an initial investment in their new businesses as do older people.


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