Summer is here and thousands of college graduates have been let loose on the world, full of big dreams—including dreams of business startup. A whopping 61 percent of recent college graduates want to start their own businesses, according to The CT Corporation survey. Forty-five percent think it’s very likely they will do so, and 20 percent already started a business while in college. Even the 30 percent of recent grads who admit it’s highly unlikely they’d ever start a business say they would like to.

However, those dreams all too often clash with reality. Fewer than half (45 percent) who want to start their own businesses believe it’s really feasible to do so. And 67 percent of recent college grads admit they don’t fully understand the tasks that are critical to business startup. For example, two-thirds don’t understand what’s involved in incorporating their businesses, 59 percent don't know how to market a business or prepare a business plan, 54 percent don’t know how to obtain a domain name for their websites and 45 percent don’t even know how to come up with an original name for their businesses.

Recent grads also have some fears related to the risks involved in startup. Only 21 percent believe starting a business offers more security than getting a job. However, once they have a bit more life experience under their belts, recent grads believe their confidence level will rise. Looking ahead 10 to 20 years, 51 percent of those surveyed say that they’d feel more secure starting a business than taking a job.

Clearly, having a great idea for starting a business isn’t enough. There’s a skills gap and a confidence gap that could keep the next generation of entrepreneurs from bringing their dreams of business ownership to life.

As an entrepreneur, how can you help the next generation harness their enthusiasm, energy and ideas and bridge the confidence gap? Well, confidence comes from doing, and from gaining the skills you lack. Why not…

•    Get involved with organizations to support college entrepreneurs
•    Hire recent grads to work in your business, either as employees, freelancers or interns
•    Work with local colleges and professors to help their business and entrepreneurship students gain real-world experience, such as by working on projects for your business to gain class credit.
•    Speak at colleges to share the realities of entrepreneurship with students considering it

Do you know a college grad considering entrepreneurship? Why not refer him or her to SCORE? SCORE now offers online mentoring—right up every college student’s alley. Visit for more information.


About the Author(s)

Rieva Lesonsky

Rieva is CEO of GrowBiz Media, a content and consulting company specializing in covering small businesses and entrepreneurship and

CEO, GrowBiz Media

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