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Entrepreneurship 101: Pros and Cons of Starting a Business for Recent College Grads

Post-grad life creates challenges and opportunities for today’s Millennial entrepreneurs

Millennial researcher and strategist Jason Dorsey recently chatted with the writers of NerdWallet at USA Today about the pros and cons of starting a business straight out of college. As an entrepreneur who wrote a bestselling book and launched his career path at age 18, Jason provided critical insights into the unique challenges and opportunities facing young Millennials, also known as members of Gen Y, who aspire to start their own businesses.


Starting a business straight after college

Here are a few of the pros and cons highlighted in the article:


  1. It is easier to accept the risks of unsteady pay and failure that accompany entrepreneurship as a recent grad than as a 40-something with a mortgage and a family. High reward, less risk!
  2. College grads have access to valuable resources for entrepreneurs, such as alumni organizations, established social networks and expert professors.
  3. Starting a business is an exceptional learning opportunity for new graduates. As Jason says, “Even if your business doesn’t succeed, you have a view of how business works, which is a huge asset.”


  1. College can be a huge source of debt for many former students, and this can make it difficult to obtain capital for a new business venture. This is a real concern—we just witnessed 2015’s graduating class set the record for the most student debt in US history, with an average of $35,000 of debt per graduate.
  2. The long hours that entrepreneurship entails can distance one from friends. Starting a business while your friends are immersed in their first 9 to 5s and beginning to climb the corporate ladder can be an isolating experience. For example, friends of young entrepreneurs might not relate to their need to work on holidays or weekends.

Anyone who follows generations and emerging trends would be interested to know that research conducted by the US Chamber of Commerce reveals that half to two-thirds of Millennials (around 53 million people) are interested in entrepreneurship, and in 2011, 29 percent of all entrepreneurs were between the ages of 20 and 34.

To see Jason’s full comments and view the NerdWallet article in its entirety, click here.

Do you think Millennials’ interest in entrepreneurship will be echoed by iGen, the generation after Millennials? Tweet us with your thoughts @WhatTheGen and @JasonDorsey

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