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千禧一代的创业行为正在越来越少

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2019年10月09日

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A friend of mine was once so inspired by his own start-up concept that he pulled out his phone, checked the availability of his preferred URL, and registered the domain name on the spot.

我有一个朋友,有一次他被自己的创业灵感惊艳到了,当即就拿出手机看了一下那个域名可不可用,然后马上就注册掉了。

Similar scenes play out at lots of business schools. The majority of MBA students range in age from the mid-20s to the 30s; with all the discussion of start-ups and new businesses, it would seem that they’re living the Millennial dream of entrepreneurship.

类似的场景在很多商学院也在发生。MBA学生的大部分都是20到30几岁;看着他们讨论那些创业和新业态的时候,感觉他们似乎都实现了千禧一代的创业梦。

But it seems more often than not these days, the start-up ideas fail to take off.

不过,现在这些日子,创业的想法却经常是要胎死腹中的。

千禧一代的创业行为正在越来越少

When I check on my peers’ start-up proposals after a few weeks, I often find that their ideas have been abandoned, and that my classmates are focused on their steady corporate jobs.

每当我过几个星期再去看同行们的创业项目,我通常都发现这些想法被放弃了。我的这些同学们还是选择了专注于他们在企业里的稳定工作。

Research suggests entrepreneurial activity has declined among Millennials. The share of people under 30 who own a business has fallen to almost a quarter-century low, according to a 2015 Wall Street Journal analysis of Federal Reserve data.

研究发现,千禧一代的创业行为正在越来越少。根据《华尔街日报》2015年一篇有关美联储数据的分析,30岁以下的人中拥有自己生意的比例已经下降到25年来最低。

A survey of 1,200 Millennials conducted in 2016 by the Economic Innovation Group found that more Millennials believed they could have a successful career by staying at one company and attempting to climb the ladder than by founding a new one.

经济创新组织在2016年开展了一项覆盖1200名千禧一代的调查,他们发现千禧一代中现在有更多的人相信自己可以靠在公司上班、向上爬职场阶梯来获得一份成功的事业,而不必去另谋生路。

Two years ago, EIG's president and co-founder, John Lettieri, testified before the U.S. Senate, “Millennials are on track to be the least entrepreneurial generation in recent history.”

两年前,EIG的总裁兼联合创始人 John Lettieri 在美国参议院面前出庭作证说:“千禧一代正在成为近段历史中最没有创业精神的一代。”

Some of the reasons have been well-documented.

这背后的很多论证都证据充分。

The romantic view of entrepreneurship involves angel investors and venture capital funds, but in fact, the ordinary entrepreneur is more likely to fund a start-up using personal savings—something underemployed Millennials simply could not build as they entered the workforce during or in the immediate wake of the Great Recession.

在对创业的浪漫化想象中,总是有天使投资人和风投基金的戏码。但实际上,一般的创业者更有可能需要靠自己的积蓄来资助自己的创业项目——而这对那些就业率低下、在经济大衰退前奏中走入职场的千禧一代来说,是负担不起的。

Funding from friends and family is the next most common source, but this personal network could not help much during the most recent economic downturn, when so much home equity was underwater. Student debt worsened the underlying economic problems.

其次常见的资金来源,是朋友和家人。但在最近这样的经济下行情况下,这样的个人关系网也帮不上太大的忙,毕竟现在很多房屋资产都自身难保。而学生的债务则让这些经济问题变得更严重了。

According to a report by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, between 2004 and 2014, the number of student borrowers rose by 89 percent.

根据纽约联储银行的一份报道,从2004年到2014年,学生借款人的人数上升了89%。

Lately, though, it seems that even those who might typically have access to other forms of funding, like venture capital, are having a hard time getting investors’ attention.

而最近,似乎就连那些有条件获取其他融资渠道的人也很难引起投资人的注意。

As Matt Krisiloff, a former director at the Y Combinator start-up accelerator in Silicon Valley said, “Start-ups are a lot less cool than they used to be.”

正如硅谷创业孵化器YC的前总监 Matt Krisiloff所说的:“创业公司已经远没有以前那么酷了。”

千禧一代的创业行为正在越来越少

Michael Sadler, an e conomist at the University of Texas, is concerned about the rising concentration of start-up investment in just a few super-performing regions such as Austin, New York, and Silicon Valley.

德克萨斯大学的经济学家 Michael Sadler 则在担心创业公司扎堆的问题,现在越来越多的创业投资都集中到了奥斯汀、纽约和硅谷这种业绩超群的地区。

As with American politics, it appears the geography of U.S. venture capital and economic growth has become increasingly polarized.

就像美国的政治一样,美国风投的版图和经济增长似乎也越来越两极化了。

There’s more competition from abroad, too.

而国外的竞争也变多了。

Chinese venture capital and private-equity firms—and the entrepreneurs they invest in—are challenging America’s historic tech dominance.

中国的风投机构和私募公司以及他们投资的那些企业家,都在挑战着美国一贯的科技领先地位。

In the past, this kind of investing tended to involve American funders and American companies.

在过去,这一类的投资通常都是美国投资者和美国公司的事。

But last year, Asian investors put nearly the same amount into tech start-ups as their U.S. counterparts, according to the Wall Street Journal, with most Chinese-led investments going into the country’s own firms.

但是根据《华尔街日报》的报道,去年亚洲投资者投进科技创业公司的钱和他们的美国同行一样多,里面很多是中国的钱投资进了中国自己的公司。

Of the top five global VC deals in 2017, three were Chinese companies: Didi (a ride-sharing app), Meituan-Dianping (an e-commerce platform), and Toutiao (a news feed reader).

2017年全球最大的5笔风险投资交易中,有3家都是投的中国公司:滴滴(共享出行app)、美团点评(电商平台)以及头条(新闻资讯阅读器)。

Meanwhile, in the United States, products and services are increasingly being created on top of existing platforms like Apple’s iOS or Google’s Android platform.

而与此同时,在美国,产品和服务却越来越多地是出现在既有平台上,比如苹果的iOS和谷歌的安卓平台。

While a mobile app can make for a decent side hustle to a regular corporate job, it won’t turn into the next Apple or Google, and American investors know that.

虽然,当你有一份常规的企业工作时,做一个手机app可以是个不错的副业,但它是不会成为下一个苹果或谷歌的,而美国的投资者们都清楚这一点。


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