The Missing Millennial Entrepreneurs

By Daniel Wilmoth, PhD, U.S. SBA Office of Advocacy

Mark Zuckerberg launched Facebook 12 years ago, on February 4, 2004, while still in college. He dropped out, moved the company to Silicon Valley, and, in 2012, held an initial offering of stock to the public. In 2015, at age 31, he was among the richest people in the world, with wealth of over $40 billion.

Zuckerberg is a member of the Millennial generation, those born from 1982 to 2000. The spectacular entrepreneurial successes of some Millennials create the impression of a generation in which entrepreneurship is thriving. However, a new report from the Office of Advocacy reveals a different reality. In 2014, less than 2 percent of Millennials reported self-employment, compared with 7.6 percent for Generation X (born 1963 to 1981) and 8.3 percent for Baby Boomers (born 1944 to 1962).

Other key points of the report include:

  • At age 30, less than 4 percent of Millennials reported self-employment in their primary job in the previous year, compared with 5.4 percent for Generation X and 6.7 percent for Baby Boomers; and
  • In 2014, over 47 percent of the employed were Millennials, but less than 11 percent of the self-employed were of that generation.

To read the full report, click here.