This One Problem is Causing Millennials to Launch Fewer Startups

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Millennials might be the most educated generation ever, but a new report is revealing how education is a double-edged sword, killing the dreams of young, aspiring entrepreneurs before they even begin, according to CNBC.

The Kauffman Foundation, a non-profit devoted to studying the state of entrepreneurship, released their 2015 report which found that startups have been on a steady decline since 1996.

“Saddled with student loan debt, millennials can’t afford to be entrepreneurs.”

Student debt — the result of spending “valuable” years in college to get a glorified piece of paper that otherwise has no practical application — is keeping young entrepreneurs from starting their own companies rather than, gulp, finding a real job.

Kauffman’s report found that 35% of young Americans aged 20-34 launched startups in 1996; in 2013, that percentage dropped to 23%.

Young adults also launched about 40,000 fewer startups per month in 2013 than they did in 1996.

Despite the startup frenzy emanating from Silicon Valley, entrepreneurs are indeed a dying breed. Socio-economic circumstances aren’t helping the formation of new businesses either, and the fear of mounting student debt seems to be taking its toll on would-be entrepreneurs.

Here’s why it doesn’t actually matter: Of course, student debt, or debt in general, might motivate anyone to work and survive out of desperation. But if you didn’t have to be brave to be an entrepreneur, everyone would be one. Renowned venture capitalist Ben Horowitz has suggested to go “all in” with your startup — that way, you have no choice but to work and make it successful. If there is one quality any entrepreneur needs to make it in the face of any crisis, Horowitz says it’s courage:

“Being an entrepreneur tested my intelligence and my courage, but it tested my courage far more than my intelligence.”

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