Millennial Small Biz Owners Look to Loans to Fuel Growth

Small business owners from the millennial generation (those aged roughly 18 to 35) are highly growth-oriented and committed to their business for the long haul, according to a recent survey from Wells Fargo. To achieve that growth, approximately two-thirds say that they need to take on debt and are willing to take financial risks; this compares with just a little over half of non-millennial small business owners who say the same things.

Perhaps as a reflection of their longer time horizons, millennials tend to be more optimistic about business growth. Three quarters said they expect their business to improve over the next year, compared to just half of older business owners. And 41 percent of millennial small business owners say they want not just a comfortable future but to grow their businesses as much as possible — twice the rate of older generations.

However, millennials face a significant student debt overhang that limits their ability to take on business debt. Three in 10 millennial small business owners are still paying off their student loans, and they owe on average approximately $30,000 per person. Despite lower entrepreneurship rates since the financial crisis, the share of millennials who own small businesses remains strong. Other surveys have indicated that about a quarter of millennials earn money from a business in which they have a significant stake.