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Revealed: Facts about entrepreneurs you never knew

by LLB Reporter
19th Jun 17 10:46 am

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The entrepreneurial spirit of global millennials is more likely to be driven by the desire to increase their influence and have a positive impact on others than their parents’ generation, according to a new report from HSBC Private Bank. The bank’s second Essence of Enterprise report, launched today, researched the views of over 4,000 entrepreneurs globally to understand the motivations behind setting up their own businesses. The study found that more than a quarter (26 per cent) of entrepreneurs in their 20s set up their business with a view to making a name for themselves, compared to 17 per cent of over 50s.

Millennials are not simply driven by the desire for prestige, however, as respondents outlined their desire to use their influence to have a direct impact on their community. Nearly a quarter of those in their 20s say having a positive impact on the community was an important goal compared with one in ten (13 per cent) entrepreneurs aged 50+. In the UK, young entrepreneurs are more than twice as likely to say having this positive influence was important compared with older entrepreneurs (15 per cent vs 6 per cent). This distinction between generations is most marked in the U.S. where the difference moves 12 percentage points (29 per cent vs 17 per cent).

While the global findings suggest shifting priorities for younger generations, those in Asia-Pacific demonstrate an approach which reflects financial considerations as part of their entrepreneurial mix. Nearly half (45 per cent) of millennial entrepreneurs in this region went into business with the goal of increasing their personal wealth, compared to 40 per cent in the U.S. and 29 per cent in Europe.

Entrepreneurial goals


Entrepreneurs in their 20s Entrepreneurs over 50


(in percentage points)

To become more influential 23 per cent 13 per cent 10 per cent
To have a positive impact on your community 23 per cent 13 per cent 10 per cent
To build a name for yourself 26 per cent 17 per cent 9 per cent
To have a positive economic impact 25 per cent 20 per cent 5 per cent

Q: Which of these motivations were important in your decision to become an entrepreneur? (multiple choice)

The gap between the two global age groups widens when it comes to environmental and social considerations. Entrepreneurs in their 20s are more likely to put a high amount of effort in tackling these issues within their business compared with the over 50s (37 per cent vs 25 per cent). The divide is particularly clear in Mainland China, where almost half of millennials focus on this area, compared to under a quarter of over-50s (41 per cent vs 23 per cent). The research also reveals how millennials spend almost twice as long on average participating in community activity or volunteering (54 minutes vs 30 minutes on average per day). China is again the area with the biggest discrepancy between young and old when it comes to these activities, as the time difference amounts to over an hour extra a day (one hour and 18 minutes vs six minutes).  

In their quest to build a name for themselves and increase their influence, the creation of strong support networks is particularly important for the younger generation. Millennials achieve this through a greater focus on company strategy and internal staff management, dedicating half an hour more each day to these tasks than their older counterparts. This younger group is less likely to get involved into day-to-day delivery of products and services, freeing up on average 42 minutes a day by empowering employees to make important client-facing decisions. By placing greater emphasis on overall business strategy and managing talent internally, their network is strengthened.

HSBC Private Banking’s Chief of Staff Stuart Parkinson said: “Our research shows that, compared with older generations, millennial entrepreneurs seek influence rather than autonomy and that social impact is as important to them as personal wealth.  It is important that we understand the challenges faced by the next generation of entrepreneurs so we can support them as they create jobs and economic growth, as well as prosperity for themselves, their families and their communities.”



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