The popular image of small business owners in their 20s and 30s as mostly interested in making a fast buck and moving on may be just a myth.
A survey released by Wells Fargo (WFC) portrays people in that age group, commonly known as millennials, as generally serious about being long-term business owners. Some 80 percent of the young owners surveyed said they want to build a company over many years and maybe pass it on their children. And nearly 60 percent don't have kids yet.
The results are at odds with the popular belief that millennials want to start companies, sell them quickly and start new ones they can also sell, a phenomenon known as serial entrepreneurship, Wells Fargo said.
"They recognize an investment in their business is an investment in their future," said Lisa Stevens, head of small-business services at the bank.
The survey questioned 500 business owners age 19 and older. It found that quality of life was a big driver in millennials becoming business owners. Eighty-two percent said being able to control their future was a top reason why they started a company. Nearly three-quarters wanted more flexibility in when, where and how they work.
The majority of millennials have made a serious commitment to their companies. Although 18 percent started a company as a hobby and a third launched a company as a part-time venture, 71 percent work on their businesses full time.