Pew Research Center has stated that the Millennials are projected to be the largest generation by 2050. So with this in mind Experian examined the business credit trends of Millennial business owners to see how their behaviors might impact small business. The results of that research has been published in a new whitepaper titled “Millennial-owned small business — a fast growing segment.” Andrea Schmalzer is the analyst who worked on the study and we asked her a few questions about the research in our latest Business Q&A.
Gary Stockton: Can you tell us a little about the data set you analyzed for your study?
Andrea Schmalzer: In this study what we did was we looked at small businesses during the year 2012 2015 and 2017. We then segmented the data by generation for millennials. We looked at anybody born between 1981 and the year 2000.
Andrea Schmalzer: There are various ranges for defining millennials. However this is definitely within the standard range of the definition.
Gary Stockton: In terms of small business. How large is the millennial segment today?
Andrea Schmalzer: So the millennial segment is actually still a smaller segment of the business community at about 7 percent. But they are growing quite rapidly. Since 2012 they’ve grown about 92 percent in small businesses. Whereas if you look at the baby boomers they’ve only grown by 11 percent. So there’s definitely substantial growth happening within the millennial-owned business area.
Gary Stockton: What are the industries that millennials are most concentrated in?
Andrea Schmalzer: So the millennials are concentrated in basically the same industries as all other generations.We do see about 44 percent of all small businesses owned by millennials in the services industries. So that can be anything from a nail salon to a medical doctor. We then have about 18 percent in retail trade. So that’s any goods that you’re going to be buying for personal use, and then about 12 percent are focused in on construction industries.
Gary Stockton: Do millennials represent an opportunity for lenders? and if so, how?
Andrea Schmalzer: Absolutely. What we’re seeing is a really strong decreasing trend in delinquency rate for millennials? So back in 2012 we were seeing about 18 percent delinquency rates. Currently in 2017, what we’re seeing is about 9 percent which is totally in line with all other generations? We’re also noticing their business credit scores improving year over year. As well as their longevity. So by year 5 their business survival rate is stronger than any other generation. At this point it looks like the millennials are starting to figure out the way that businesses work, and how to use credit wisely. So there’s definitely room for lenders to appeal to this segment.