Survey: Fewer Minority Youth Aspire to Start Businesses

While overall youth aspirations to start businesses and invent innovative products has remained steady or declined gently, the percentage of ethnic or racial minority young people who say they plan to start their own company has fallen by double digits in five years, according to the latest Gallup/Operation Hope index of young Americans’ economic energy.

Forty-two percent of nonwhite students in grades 5-12 said in 2016 that they planned to start a business someday, down from 54 percent in 2011. The percentage of white students who expressed the same aspiration remained steady at 40 percent.

“The country’s long-term economic competitiveness depends on maximizing entrepreneurial energy nationwide and addressing the decline in ambition among nonwhite students,” wrote Gallup’s Justin McCarthy and Justin Bibb. “Minority entrepreneurs already face unique challenges that, paired with reduced enthusiasm, could have a larger effect on U.S. entrepreneurship potential more broadly.”