Younger Age Cohorts Grew Shares of Franchise Prospects in 2020, Even As Boomer Entrepreneurs Bolstered Pandemic Months

Feb. 17, 2021 – Millennial and Gen X entrepreneurs continued to grow their share of prospective franchise owners last year, but Baby Boomers showed strength during several quarters as the coronavirus pandemic pressured business plans across many categories. Millennials logged the greatest gain in relative share year over year, and Generation X remained the largest share of prospects inquiring about franchises to explore ownership.

For this analysis, Franchise Insights combined proprietary data from the FranchiseVentures’ demand-generation platform with demographic data from Alliant, a leading provider of U.S. consumer audience targeting and data enrichment and predictive analytics.

  • Generation X, ages 40 to 55, is far and away the largest group of franchise prospects, comprising 47.2% of prospects in 2020. That’s up 3.2% from 2019 and up 10.3% from 2018. On a quarterly basis, Gen X started the year on a positive note, growing 3.9% in Q1 from the previous quarter, but it gave up those gains as the pandemic hit, dropping 3.5% in Q2, adding 1% in Q3 and dropping just 1.5% in Q4. A deeper demographic analysis shows that interest in business ownership peaks in the late 40s and early 50s.
  • Millennials (or Gen Y), ages 24 to 39, are the third-largest cohort of prospective franchise owners with 21.8% share in 2020. But not surprisingly, Millennials are growing fast – share was up 3.3% from the previous, and up 35.8% from 2018. On a quarterly basis, Q3 saw a 3.8% rebound from Q2, but it logged declines for each of the other quarters.
  • Baby Boomers, ages 56 to 74, remain the second-largest cohort of aspiring franchise owners, with 25.4% share of prospects in 2020. For the year, that is down 3% from 2019 and 13.5% lower than 2018. But on a quarterly basis, Boomers grew their share 9.3% in Q2 when the pandemic exerted its greatest pressure on franchise inquiries overall, and grew again by 4.9% in Q4 over Q3. Deeper financial assets may explain that resilience, as well as work experience that may lend itself to confidence and a longer-term perspective to explore business ownership in anticipation of economic rebound.
  • Seniors aged 74+ also share those qualities and resilience, and in some cases may be providing financial support to help young family members launch a business. Seniors’ share of franchise prospects was 3.8% in 2020, virtually unchanged from the year before, and down 8.6% from two years’ prior. On a quarterly basis, Seniors’ share grew 6.3% from Q1 to Q2, and grew again 17.9% in Q3 before dropping 10.2% in Q4.

FranchiseVentures is the leading franchise lead-generation platform for potential franchisees to thousands of growing franchise systems in the United States and Canada. Its franchise lead generation brands include, Franchise Solutions, Franchise Gator, Franchise Opportunities, Franchise For Sale, and, and together they provide the largest aggregation of prospective franchise buyers in the U.S.

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Published on Wednesday, February 17th, 2021.

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