New-Business Creation Declining in U.S.

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Over the past decade, there has been a net decline in creation of new business in the United States. A new survey suggests one of the contributing factors appears to be a growing aversion to risk by young adults.

The survey was conducted by the accounting firm Ernst and Young for Junior Achievement. classroom-1

Ed Grocholski, a senior vice president with Junior Achievement, says the survey showed a broad gap between the attitudes of parents and teens regarding entrepreneurship.

“The survey results from Ernst and Young showed that 88 percent of parents would be willing to support their teens if they had a desire to start their own business or to become entrepreneurs, which actually kind of was juxtaposed with what the teens were saying, which is only about a third of teens expressed interest in starting a business someday,” he explains.

Grocholski says the teens identified “risk” as one of the top reasons they were hesitant to start a business on their own. He points out that these teens grew up during the Great Recession, which is likely another factor in their reluctance to take on risk.

According to Grocholski, the teens identified things that might help them better understand what is involved in starting a business, so Junior Achievement created an in-school program called JA Launch Lesson to help educate the teens.

“They wanted some more information,” he says. “They also wanted the support of their parents, which obviously they’re getting based on the survey. And then the other thing that they were looking for was a role model who had run a successful business themselves. The whole point of JA Launch Lesson is to provide some of those things to help teens overcome their concerns about starting a business.”

Grocholski says early reports regarding the new program are encouraging.

“Many communities across the country are participating with it, and one of the reasons why we have it set up the way we do is a lot of entrepreneurs really don’t have time to do a lot of community service type projects,” he adds. “We really make it simple; it’s very turnkey. Entrepreneurs can take an hour out of their day to come into a classroom and speak to the kids.”

He says entrepreneurs are the driving force behind economic growth in the U.S.

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