Young entrepreneurs feel they’re not taken seriously due to their age

Generation Z, age

A new survey reveals that while many young people are interested in starting a business, they are hesitant to act upon their dream due to a fear of not being taken seriously.

The survey commissioned, by Herbalife Nutrition and conducted by OnePoll, found that 51 per cent of those wanting to start a business say that because of their age, they feel will not be taken seriously by others. However, at the same time, some see their youth as an advantage with 29 per cent of respondents who want to open a business saying that they’re “less afraid to fail” than other generations.

More than 25,000 respondents (age 18–40) across 35 countries took the survey which asked them different aspects of entrepreneurship. Almost three quarters, 74 per cent, of them are looking to become entrepreneurs while 16 per cent said they already own a business.

The survey noted that among the respondents, 28 seems to be the ideal age to start a business, with half of these budding entrepreneurs saying that their age would help their chances of success. When asked why, 61 per cent said that they’re better at adapting to new technology than other generations, and 43 per cent said that they’re more likely to have fresh, unexplored ideas.

Of those interested in entrepreneurship, “becoming my own boss” was found to be the top motivating factor (48 per cent), followed by the ability to follow their passion (44 per cent), to support their family, (37 per cent) and wanting more flexibility in their job (32 per cent).

In relation to career, 31 per cent look toward entrepreneurship as the opportunity for a career change, while 26 per cent were looking to supplement their income. Meanwhile, 60 per cent of those in full-time employment look to entrepreneurship as a place where they can do what they want and not be subject to constant “no’s” by older employees and managers.

“If working with entrepreneurs over the past 41 years has taught us anything, it’s that regardless of your age, the difference between success and failure is often good business fundamentals, the willingness to learn, adapt and work hard, and a passion for your work,” John DeSimone, president of Herbalife Nutrition, said. “There’s no time like the present.”

Despite feeling excitement over the prospect of being an entrepreneur the average respondent said they believe someone should have five-and-a-half years of experience before starting their own business. They also expect to face challenges along the way, such as earning enough to offset costs (35 per cent) adapting to the pandemic (35 per cent) and making sales/getting customers (35 per cent). The survey also found that 63 per cent believe their generation faces unique challenges when starting a business, compared to older generations.

“As young entrepreneurs learn how to manage the daily rigors of starting their own business, it’s imperative to surround themselves with a supportive community including mentors and those who will continuously push them to the next level,” DeSimone concluded.