Monday, June 18, 2007

US Teenagers and Entrepreneurship

The New York Times has an interesting article entitled "The Loose Reins on U.S. Teenagers Can Produce Trouble or Entrepreneurs" in which the phenomenon of business enterprises being undertaken by teenagers is discussed:

"A study by the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor showed that the United States was unusual among developed countries in having a higher business start-up rate among its 18- to 24-year-olds than its 35- to 44-year-olds.


"American youths are so successful at entrepreneurship in part because so many older and wealthier people are willing to help them. The broader American success at philanthropy, then, lays the groundwork for American entrepreneurship. By global standards, Americans may have looser networks of friends and family, but Americans are more willing to help relative strangers, and this often helps business.


"Compared with those in other countries, American children play a much more influential role in society and enjoy a remarkable degree of autonomy. American fast food, with its fatty, sweet and bland tastes, is geared toward children, as are many American movies and television shows. Teenagers receive higher allowances, have greater access to credit cards, and have more money to spend on culture, or, in some cases, to spend on starting a business. American labor markets are flexible enough to create a large number of jobs at the lower end of the wage scale. Teenagers are more likely to acquire work experience, and they are more likely to earn a small amount of capital for financing a start-up enterprise.


"It is well known that American companies have been the most successful at turning information technology into productivity advantages. In part, this is because of American success in mobilizing young talent."


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