The linked article discusses the future of entrepreneurship among millennials. While the article is inconclusive, it did get me thinking about some themes of this topic. Like the article, these are brief and not decisive. But it gets the conversation going.
The authors hope that some signs point to more entrepreneurship in the future, as it is stagnant now. The more optimistic reading reasoning I can think of to support this is the “failure to launch” phenomenon. Millennials have the life expectancy on their side to pursue more schooling and delay work and family commitments. Could this be the case with entrepreneurship? Maybe they are just ramping up more slowly to this American tradition, just as they are with other rites of passage.
The more brutal and I believe explanatory reason is somewhat related. While “failure to launch” is often characterized by extensive periods of schooling, the price tag may be a bigger drag than the time in school itself. The burden of student loans makes graduates value a consistent payment stream over a volatile investment. While the start-up could strike it big in the next five years, how are the loans going to get paid off? This crushing debt load makes risk-taking entrepreneurship that much less appealing.
It is too bad that the authors didn’t mention this huge influence in their piece. But that’s why “we” write.