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Millennial Women Entrepreneurs

Millennial Women Entrepreneurs: Opportunities and Challenges

National Women’s Business Council

First published November 2018

Millennial women, those born between 1982 and 2000, represent the future of entrepreneurship in America. According to the 2015 Census Bureau data, there are 83.1 million millennials in the United States. By the year 2025, millennials will comprise 75 percent of the American workforce, and many will become entrepreneurs.

At the National Women’s Business Council (NWBC), we recognize the importance and necessity of empowering the next generation of women entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurship is vital to the U.S. economy. As of 2012, there were 10 million women-owned firms in the U.S., and 1,343,554 millennials women entrepreneurs.

Millennials are widely considered entrepreneurial in nature. The media portrays millennials as transforming the economy and spurning traditional forms of employment. However, upon closer review, studies show that millennial entrepreneurship is on the decline. While 66 percent of millennials surveyed by Bentley University want to start a business, less than 5 percent of American millennials are currently running a business. Only 3.8 percent of millennial women, compared to 5.0 percent of millennial men, indicate entrepreneurship as their primary occupation. Millennials are starting fewer businesses than older generations did at the same age. When examining the most recent primary employment activity, less than 4 percent of 30- year-old millennials reported self-employment compared to 5.5 percent of Generation X and 6.7 percent of Baby Boomers at that same age. Since the 1980s, the percentage of individuals under age 30 who own a business has declined by 65 percent.

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