From the October 2003 issue of Startups

In a recent Junior Achievement survey, 41 percent of teens believe owning your own business provides greater job security than working for a company. And nearly three quarters of the teens indicated they would like to start their own business someday.

Teen enthusiasm for starting a business included an appreciation of marketplace rigors, too. Students seem aware of the challenges involved in starting a business, with only 11 percent saying such an effort would be "very easy" or "easy," while almost half (49 percent) believed starting a business would be "somewhat challenging."

What type of businesses do teens say they want to start? The most popular choices fell into a "professional service" category (30 percent), followed by retail (27 percent). Surprisingly, restaurant or food-related businesses, the most common source of employment for teens, accounted for just 13 percent of the responses.

"This poll shows that today's teens have a great deal of confidence in the power of striking out on their own," said Jack Faris, president of the National Federation of Independent Business. "We should all do our part to keep this going by encouraging the next generation of business owners."

The 2003 Junior Achievement Interprise Poll on Entrepreneurship was conducted online by Junior Achievement last spring. The poll data in part echoed the results of the JA Interprise Poll on Kids and Careers survey conducted in October 2002. In that poll, "businessperson" was named the top career choice, replacing "doctor" which had been the top choice in the three previous years.