NEW YORK (MainStreet)Bank of America has released its bi-annual Small Business Owner Report, a snapshot of America's small business community and how it views the future. The report attempts to capture both the personal and financial prospects of entrepreneurs employing between two and 99 employees, measuring issues such as work-life balance, health and happiness and business prospects for the coming six months.
One area with some surprising results is the strong showing of Millennials, who as business owners are the most optimistic across age groups about the future.
The data seems to bear this out. Millennials outperformed all other age groups when asked about their outlook on four metrics: expected increased revenue, expected increase in hiring, preparing for the unexpected and managing stress well. In fact, in all areas except for stress management, the data showed a direct correlation between youth and optimism, with 51- to 64-year-olds the least optimistic of all. This holds especially true in hiring prospects, where only 24% of 51- to 64-year-olds said that they expect to increase their hiring in the coming year.
"We found it very notable that Millennial small business owners are so optimistic about their future," wrote Robb Hilson, Small Business Executive for Bank of America. "Whether the topic was their economic outlook, the growth of their business or their personal wellness, Millennials were much more positive than their Baby Boomer and Gen X counterparts."
The question, of course, is why. What makes our young business owners overwhelmingly more likely to have a positive outlook on their future success?
Some of it may have to do with simply the energy and optimism of youth, as nearly two thirds of this age group expect national and local economic conditions to improve over the next 12 months.