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US high schoolers’ entrepreneurial aspirations at lowest level on record – report

 US high schoolers’ entrepreneurial aspirations at lowest level on record – report
Fewer US high school students want to build their own business, with figures hitting their lowest level since 2011, a survey has revealed. However, those in grades five to eight are more optimistic, and show more enthusiasm about potential startups.

The latest Gallup-HOPE Index report suggests that a little over one in four high school students, or 27 percent of respondents, see their future as linked to owning a business.

The numbers are slightly down on the 34-35 percent range over the five-year period since the study began in 2011.

This might be due to teens having a clearer perspective about their career goals as they grow older, the report’s authors say.

Another reason suggested for the smaller number of high school students wanting to own a business is that they experience a large number of special courses at school or are interned with a local business, which puts them off starting up on their own. 

In contrast, younger students are more enthusiastic about their future in entrepreneurship, with the majority of middle schoolers (55 percent) expressing eagerness to run their own businesses. They are, however, half as likely as older peers (27 percent against 60 percent) to say that they have access to classes on how to start and run a business.

The report says it highlights the importance of educating children about business, since only 57 percent of American adults are ‘financially literate’ or know how to manage their finances effectively.

The research involved interviews with 1,006 school children, aged 10-18, throughout September-November 2016.

To address the slowdown in US GDP growth, business and education leaders will need to find a way to give the next generation of entrepreneurs the tools they need to keep their ambitions alive, the study concludes.

According to Investopedia’s list of the world’s 10 wealthiest people under 35, eight of them come from the US, with six being self-made billionaires. Despite none of them being women, the Gallup survey shows that almost equal numbers of boys (43 percent) and girls (40 percent) are willing to start their business.

Until recently, the title of the world’s youngest self-made billionaire belonged to the American Snapchat co-founder Evan Spiegel, 26, who was replaced by Irish entrepreneur John Collison, residing and running his company Stripe in California.