Student debt? A short article on Forbes.com suggests that the Millennial generation are not starting companies due to the load of student debt. “Currently, 8% of millenials own a business, 16% are making plans to start a business, and 27% want to start one someday but have no current plans to do so.’ Of those who want to start a business, almost 40% are putting such plans due to student debt.
This is an interesting phenomena that has been previously discussed in many other venues. And, it is a bit scary how much debt students are incurring due to the ever-increasing education costs at undergraduate and graduate institutions. My thought is ‘so what’?
Most entrepreneurs will tell you of stories of having mortgages, student loans for their kids, and other debts that exist in their lives. Yet, they still find a way to start their business. Critical is that they develop a business model that will generate enough wealth to provide them with enough money to cover their lifestyles and/or have to be creative in finding ways to seek external financing from banks and investors to get the business going.
Is this not in fact what a startup should be? Not just a lifestyle choice but taking on the responsibility to generate an idea that will create wealth for all stakeholders involved. What it means is that not all businesses need to be started when your 21 and that not all ideas are meant to be businesses as they can’t sustain enough cash flow to pay employees, pay suppliers, pay the investors, etc.
This student debt thing is real but it shouldn’t be the limitation as to starting a business. If you’ve got an idea that can generate wealth through providing true customer value that they will pay for, go for it. Otherwise, cut out the excuses. Starting a business ain’t for everybody. What I’m most worried about is that the student debt issue in relation to entrepreneurship and starting a business is becoming part of the political discussion of debt forgiveness and receiving votes for our politicians.