Millennial Small Business Owners Are Already Global and Plan to Continue Doing Business Internationally

With Nearly Half of Small Business Owners Ages 18 to 34 Currently Selling Products Outside the US (Compared to Only 7 Percent of Business Leaders Ages 55 And Up) The Future Is Global.

Millennial Small Business Owners Are Already Global and Plan to Continue Doing Business Internationally

Washington, DC, December 20, 2017 — According to a recent online survey conducted by Ipsos on behalf of Veem, the future generation of business leaders is global in nature and intent on running their businesses beyond the US borders. With 48 percent of small business owners ages 18 to 34 currently selling their products outside of the US compared to just 7 percent of business leaders age 55 and up, the future is global.

Results from the survey, which was conducted among 500 small business leaders (who are the owners of companies with up to 30 employees) illustrate that although business leaders are generally confident about doing business and taking advantage of global opportunities, there are some major differences that emerge across demographics.

Millennials vs. Baby Boomers:

  • Only 25 percent of Millennial business leaders (adults ages 18-34) do business solely with US partners compared to 63 percent of baby boomers who say the same. However, the proportion of those who say they don't do business internationally but are planning on going global soon is consistent across these age groups (8% of adults ages 18-34 and 10% of adults ages 55+).
  • 80 percent of Millennial small business owners are confident in their business’ ability to take advantage of global opportunities despite the trade policies and potential tariffs proposed by the Trump administration, compared to just 32 percent of those ages 55 and up.
  • However, confidence drops when thinking about their company's ability to take advantage of trade opportunities with NAFTA under renegotiation with 66 percent of Millennial small business owners and 17 percent of older business leaders (ages 55+) remaining confident.

Men vs. Women:

  • Women are especially likely to lack confidence in the future of their business under the current administration. Only 35 percent think they can take advantage of global opportunities given the current administration trade policies/current events/potential tariffs compared to 64 percent of men.
  • There is less of a divide when it comes to working with only US based partners, with 40 percent of men and 54 percent of women stating their company only works with domestic partners. 14 percent of women and 8 percent of men plan to work with businesses outside the US soon


About the Study

These are the findings from an Ipsos poll conducted September 28 – October 10, 2017, on behalf of Veem. For the survey, a sample of 508 adults over the age of 18 from the continental U.S., Alaska and Hawaii was interviewed online, in English. In order to qualify for the survey, respondents had to be employed full-time or self-employed for a company that employs 5 to 30 employees, and identify as being the owners of the business. The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll has a credibility interval of ± 5.0 percentage points for all respondents surveyed.

The sample for this study was randomly drawn from Ipsos’s online panel (see link below for more info on “Access Panels and Recruitment”), partner online panel sources, and “river” sampling (see link below for more info on the Ipsos “Ampario Overview” sample method) and does not rely on a population frame in the traditional sense. Ipsos uses fixed sample targets, unique to each study, in drawing sample. After a sample has been obtained from the Ipsos panel, Ipsos calibrates respondent characteristics to be representative of the U.S. Population using standard procedures such as raking-ratio adjustments. The source of these population targets is U.S. Census 2016 American Community Survey data. The sample drawn for this study reflects fixed sample targets on demographics. Post-hoc weights were made to the population characteristics on gender, age, region, race/ethnicity and income.

Statistical margins of error are not applicable to online polls. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error and measurement error. Where figures do not sum to 100, this is due to the effects of rounding. The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll has a credibility interval of ± 5.0 percentage points for all respondents (see link below for more info on Ipsos online polling “Credibility Intervals”). Ipsos calculates a design effect (DEFF) for each study based on the variation of the weights, following the formula of Kish (1965). This study had a credibility interval adjusted for design effect of the following (n=508, DEFF=1.5, adjusted Confidence Interval=6.5).

For more information about conducting research intended for public release or Ipsos’ online polling methodology, please visit our Public Opinion Polling and Communication page where you can download our brochure, see our public release protocol, or contact us.

For more information on this news release, please contact:

Jim Ransom
Director, Sales, Canada      
Ipsos Public Affairs
+1 416 388-1121

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