TRANSFORMATION: Aug. 2013 – Young entrepreneurs

Why, when I was your age …

The numbers of young entrepreneurs are growing.

No longer content with their parents’ or grandparents’ career model of signing on to a job for life, these accomplished multi-taskers are creating their own opportunity by taking innovative ideas to the marketplace at a very young age.

We keep hearing about how tough the job market is for high school and college graduates. One source tells us that job opportunities have decreased by 20 percent in the past two years, even for those with a college education. So it’s no surprise that entrepreneurship among young people is up 15 percent during the same time period. And, nearly 25 percent of all new businesses are started by entrepreneurs 20-34 years of age.

young, female twins with dark hair wearing boots

The Stansberry twins are just one example of a successful, young entrepreneurship.

“My grandfather worked for an auto maker for nearly 40 years,” one young entrepreneur told us. “My dad tried that, and then was laid off at the age of 51. You can’t count on that working out for you anymore. You have to take control of your own destiny and not leave it to some big company.”

Armed with digital networks, enormous amounts of confidence and creativity and skill at managing multiple priorities (and devices!), the next generation of business owners is proving that age, technology and geography are no longer the barriers they once were. Ideas given birth in high school laboratories and through hobbies and personal past times are beginning to make their way to the marketplace, and the SBTDC is alongside watching this economic transformation.

Here are a few stories about young entrepreneurs:

Download the August 2013 issue of TRANSFORMATION (PDF), formatted for printing.

TRANSFORMATION is published by the Missouri Small Business & Technology Development Centers, with assistance from the U.S. Small Business Administration, University of Missouri Extension, Missouri Southern State University and the Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce. All opinions, conclusions or recommendations expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the SBA. Questions and comments may be directed to Mary Paulsell, Director of Communications, MO SBTDC, at 573-882-1353 or