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Dave Ramsey reveals why it's so 'difficult' to start a business today, which generation has the advantage

It may be an emotionally difficult time to open a business right now, but Dave Ramsey explains how it's also the "best" and "easiest" time for Gen Z entrepreneurs to get ahead.

Small businesses are statistically the backbone of the American economy. But even personal finance guru Dave Ramsey points out that it’s a tough time to embark on an entrepreneurial journey.

"It's emotionally difficult right now. It is very hard right now," Ramsey told "The Big Money Show" co-host Brian Brenberg, Monday, at the EntreLeadership Summit in Dallas, Texas.

"And guess what? It always has been," the Ramsey Solutions founder expanded. "If you were in the 70s, you had the Vietnam War, right? If you were in the 80s, you had inflation. You just name it, there's always something telling you not to do it."

Data from Forrester showed a surge of younger generations scooping up existing small businesses, with 64% of all buyers being born after 1980 as of February 2023. Despite the spike, Forbes reported this January that Boomers and Gen X still own the majority of U.S. small businesses, at a combined 87%.

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Last August, a poll of 50,000 American business owners showed only 4.5% of respondents were considering growing or expanding their business over the next year.

Ramsey reacted to the idea that aging and retiring owners may potentially be setting up a golden opportunity for a generational handoff.

"The millennials and Gen Zers are the buyers. And you've got a huge opportunity, possibly to start your own thing. You may not need to be a buyer, you may just want to start something from the ground up," Ramsey told future business leaders. "So you kind of keep that in your back pocket while you're doing the negotiation."

"And for the boomers, hey, don't be a control freak. Bless the next generation," he continued. "Turn them loose. They're capable. They can do it."

Though previously showing some tough love to younger generations for their criticism of his money management tips, Ramsey admitted they’ve taken advantage of the "easiest" and "best" ways to get ahead in business.

"You've got YouTube and podcasting, and all of it's free," he said. "From an economic standpoint, you can come and go quickly, easily, you can iterate, you can change, and it's all digital. You don't have to throw it all in the dumpster if you did it wrong."

With reportedly between 400 and 500 Gen Z employees at Ramsey Solutions, the financial firm’s patriarch shared words of encouragement for what he’s learned to be a "wonderful" workforce.

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"They're wonderful because they're very serious, and they're very practical and tactical. They're not head in the clouds, they're not all dreamy. They're like, ‘I want to get it done,’" Ramsey said of their attitudes.

His best advice for younger workers, though, is to go into mixed-collar trades – otherwise, they "can get a four-year degree in German polka history and be a barista."

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