Entrepreneurs Start Solo, But Value Networks, HSBC Finds

A new generation of entrepreneurs is on the horizon, and they’re shaping the way corporates adopt, interact with and influence technology. A new report from HSBC Private Bank explored how younger entrepreneurs are divvying up their time in new ways to optimize their performance.

The “2017 HSBC Private Bank: Essence of Enterprise” report compares populations of entrepreneurs across two different generations — those in their 20s and 30s and those who started their business in their 50s — to explore how younger small business owners prioritize their time and operate their businesses.

“It is important that we understand the challenges faced by the next generation of entrepreneurs so we can support them as we create jobs and economic growth, as well as prosperity for themselves, their families and their communities,” said HSBC Private Banking Chief of Staff Stuart Parkinson in a statement.

The report not only finds generational differences among entrepreneurs but geographic differences, too. PYMNTS dives into the analysis to bring the key statistics to light.

  • Twenty-three percent of entrepreneurs in their 20s and 30s value becoming more influential or having a positive impact on their communities, compared with just 13 percent of entrepreneurs over the age of 50. This desire to have a positive impact on their surroundings is also the biggest motivation for younger entrepreneurs to achieve influence, the report found, with millennial entrepreneurs saying influence is more important than wealth. Older entrepreneurs, however, said wealth is more important.
  • Sixty-four percent of older entrepreneurs in the Americas said they became an entrepreneur to be their own boss. Meanwhile, about 49 percent of millennial entrepreneurs said the same, though it was still the most common motivation behind the move for both age groups.
  • Eighty-three percent of entrepreneurs believe they have a good work-life balance, which means spending an average of 10.1 hours every day on business tasks, the report found. Their time is divided between staff management, business strategy, business admin, client relations and supplier relations, each of which hold nearly equal weight among an entrepreneur. In Europe, that figure is even higher, with 88 percent believing they have achieved a good balance between work and life.
  • Forty-four percent of entrepreneurs in Hong Kong say they started their business because of a lack of career opportunities, the highest of any other region surveyed — in the U.S., less than a third said they were prompted to become an entrepreneur because of this. Nearly two-thirds of all entrepreneurs, though, said they have faced challenges when trying to start their business, compared to less than half of business owners coming from a family business background.
  • Fifty-eight percent of U.K. entrepreneurs agree that a lack of skills or experience in certain fields has held them back, the highest of any other region. That figure stands at 49 percent for entrepreneurs in Singapore and Australia, and at 43 percent for U.S. entrepreneurs. For those in mainland China and Saudi Arabia, though, the figure is quite low, at 14 percent and 17 percent, respectively.
  • Four hundred million entrepreneurs around the world offer an opportunity for collaboration. According to HSBC Private Bank, entrepreneurs across ages and geographies place greater importance on mentors, networks and internal teams — despite starting the journey as an entrepreneur solo.

“Entrepreneurship is often described as a journey during which individuals start, expand and exit the businesses they establish,” the report said. “Yet, with more than 400 million entrepreneurs globally, there are as many journeys as there are individuals.”