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Fewer Teens Dream of Running Their Own Businesses


Sept. 3, 2004 -- Entrepreneurship is unquestionably a difficult career path, a truth not lost on American teenagers, but also one that doesn't dissuade their ambition entirely.

Sixty-four percent of the more than 400 respondents to a Junior Achievement poll said they would like to start their own business someday. While this represents a large majority of the teens surveyed, it marks a ten percent decrease from the same poll conducted last year. In a sign that some are resisting following their hearts, more than 80 percent of the students felt that owning a business is more satisfying than working for a company.

The teens recognized how hard running a business can be, with 41 percent saying they thought starting a business would be "challenging." Less than 12 percent viewed entrepreneurship as "easy."

The most popular area to start a business in was "professional service," with 28 percent picking it. Another 24 percent chose retail. Restaurants and food-related businesses were also popular at 15 percent.

Teens felt that education is necessary to start a business. A college education was cited as a factor in a business' success by 88 percent of the respondents. Only 5 percent didn't feel it would help.

The main motives for starting a business according to the teens were having a great idea and wanting to see it in action, the belief that you can earn more by working for yourself and independence in general.

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