New Surveys Show Entrepreneurial Aspirations are High

A pair of newly released surveys show that the entrepreneurial spirit of America is as strong as ever. Not only do a number of individuals report wanting to open a business but the vast majority of those that have taken the leap declare that they’re living the American Dream. Moreover several small business owners say they hope their children will follow in their footsteps.

According to a study by online lending marketplace LendingTree 31.6% of respondents said they’ve considered starting a business in the last year (another 5.6% already had their own businesses). When asked why they wanted to launch a business, nearly a quarter said they “wanted more purpose,” making that the top response. In second place with 15.8% was the notion that starting a business was the best way to build wealth. Additionally 14.4% said they were motivated by the idea of not having a boss.

While the LendingTree survey found that many among us dream of becoming small business owners, a separate study by online lender Kabbage found that many of those who have started business believe they’re better off for it. In fact 85% of those surveyed said that they’ve achieved the American Dream of being their own boss and owning a business. As a result 84% say they hope that their children grow up to become business owners as well.

Asked why they want their children to aspire to be entrepreneurs, the top response (with 38%) was the desire for them to turn their passion into a career. Another 24% said they wanted their kids to be able to be their own boss and control their schedule. Lastly 22% stated that starting and building a business was a rewarding experience that they wanted their children to have for themselves.

As you may have caught, both of these surveys come from companies that offer financial services. On that note, the LendingTree surveyed also inquired how prospective entrepreneurs planned to raise capital for their business. First of all, 42% of respondents cited lack of capital as the top reason why they hadn’t acted on their business plans. In terms of what kinds of financing they were looking for, just under one-third of respondents said they planned to apply for an SBA (Small Business Association) loan while a 25% said they didn’t require financing. Two other popular answers were “cash savings” and “credit cards,” which both made up 17.4% of responses followed by non-SBA loans at 15.6%.

Despite the various obstacles and challenges associated with starting a business, it seems that many Americans are up for the challenge. Furthermore, just as other surveys highlight how optimism among small business owners is at the historical high, both of these studies also show that entrepreneurial spirit is strong — so strong that the vast majority of business owners wish to pass their passion to the next generation. With that, even at a time of political strife and division, there’s little doubt that the American Dream is alive and well.

Also published on Medium.


Jonathan Dyer

I'm a small town guy living in Los Angeles looking to make solid financial decisions. I write for a number of finance websites, including HuffingtonPost and Business2Community. I founded in 2015 to focus on personal finance and the emerging FinTech markets.

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