GenY Entrepreneurs are Optimistic About the Economy

Posted by Donna Fenn on 09/17/09 | Permalink

According to a new Small Business Monitor survey by American Express OPEN, GenY entrepreneurs are an optimistic bunch and they’re positioned for growth despite a still shaky economy.  You can read about the entire survey here, but here’s the part that I find most interesting:

“Generally speaking, the experience of older and more seasoned entrepreneurs puts them in a better position than younger entrepreneurs to manage through downturns. According to the American Express OPEN Small Business Monitor, however, the tables have turned, and it’s younger business owners who are geared for growth.

The survey found that Gen Y is the most optimistic group of entrepreneurs when compared to other age groups and to the overall sample of business owners. More than three-quarters (80%) of these entrepreneurs have a significantly more positive outlook on business prospects versus Gen X and business owners overall (each 55%), and Baby Boomers (52%).

The optimism of Gen Y entrepreneurs extends across a number of areas.

- They’re most likely to hire (36%, vs. 25% of Gen X and 20% of Boomers )
- They’re most likely to have capital investment plans (58%, vs. 41% of Gen X and 39% of Boomers)
- They’re most willing to take a financial risk (67%, vs. 52% of Gen X and 47% of Boomers)
- They’re least likely to have cash flow issues (53% versus 59% for Gen X and 64% of Baby Boomers)
- They’re least stressed out by the economy (57% versus 72% of Gen X’ers and 71% of Boomers)
- They’re most likely to implement employee-friendly policies to battle the recession. Gen Y will allow employees to maintain a flexible schedule (44%), Baby Boomers will institute a hiring freeze (41%) and Gen X entrepreneurs will institute a salary freeze (39%)”

The survey confirms my own observations about GenY entrepreneurs (Upstarts!), and is very much in the line with the results of a survey I did of book interviewees last spring.  Of course, mine wasn’t as scientific as AmEx OPEN’s, but I like to think it was equally revealing!  I asked my subjects, all GenY CEOs of companies, how the recession had impacted them. Here’s what they said:

* The recession has actually been good for our company: 20%
* We’ve felt very little impact: 32%
* Revenues will be lower than expected for 2009, but we’re stable: 44%
* We’ve taken a big hit and are barely hanging on:  5%

Bottom line: Upstarts! are resilient, optimistic, and committed to the long-term sustainability of their companies. Damn the recession; full speed ahead!


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