Three Out of Four Teens Want to Start a Business

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A growing number of young adults say they favor entrepreneurship.

Confirming what parents everywhere probably already know, teenagers overwhelmingly prefer being their own boss, according to a new survey.

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Of more than 1,400 teens surveyed across the nation earlier this year, nearly 71 percent said they would like to run a business someday, up from 64 percent in 2004, according to the fifth-annual Junior Achievement Worldwide "Interprise" Poll on Entrepreneurship.

Some 32 percent said they want to start a business in professional services — the most popular industry — including law firms, insurance agencies, and accounting firms, the survey found.

Surprisingly, very few said the desire to own a business is driven by a lack of meaningful employment elsewhere. Instead, nearly half said they are motivated by having a great idea and wanting to "see it in action," according to the survey.

Nearly 78 percent of teens with self-employed family members said they would like to start their own businesses, compared to 64 percent of those without entrepreneurial kin. More than 95 percent believe a college education would help, the survey showed.

By gender, male teens who responded to the survey were twice as likely as female teens to describe the business start-ups as "easy" or "very easy."

Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated the survey findings related to teenagers with and without self-employed family members.

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