Millennial entrepreneurs care less about money than baby boomers

HSBC just released a report suggesting that more Generation Y founders start businesses to make a name for themselves than older entrepreneurs

Millennial entrepreneurs care less about money than baby boomers

From Steve Jobs to Elon Musk, entrepreneurs have always grabbed the headlines. And according to a new report, young founders are even more willing to take centre stage than their older peers. Not only are millennials more interested in launching a startup that benefits communities than baby boomers are but they’re also more motivated by the prospect of making a name for themselves.

Having surveyed over 4,000 major shareholders and active decision-makers from privately owned businesses in 11 countries, HSBC has revealed that most startup founders launch businesses to become their own boss and to boost their personal wealth. A second commonly given reason was that entrepreneurs want to do the best for their families, while a third was that they wished to follow a passion. Other common drivers were a desire to change their lifestyles, have a positive economic impact, build a name for themselves or become more influential, as well as changing their communities for the better.

But just because both generations have similar motivations, that doesn’t mean baby boomers and millennials are prioritising these things the same way. While becoming their own boss was a key driver for 42% of millennials, that figure surged to 57% for baby boomers. Similarly, the prospect of increasing their personal wealth was important to 38% of younger business leaders and to 45% of those over 50. A fifth of millennials were attracted to the idea of boosting their personal brand, with one in seven baby boomers saying the same thing. And while 18% of Generation Y entrepreneurs said they’d launched their business to improve their communities, only a tenth of older ones said the same.

Commenting on the study, Stuart Parkinson, HSBC Private Banking’s chief of staff, said that “compared with older generations millennial entrepreneurs seek influence rather than autonomy and that social impact is as important to them as personal wealth.” 

In other words, for the young kids on the block it’s not all about the money but how their startups can benefit the people around them.

Eric Johansson
Eric Johansson

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