Poll: Teens Say Bill Gates is the “Greatest Entrepreneur Alive Today”; Most Teens Interested in Starting a Business - Press Releases | Junior Achievement USA

« Back

Poll: Teens Say Bill Gates is the “Greatest Entrepreneur Alive Today”; Most Teens Interested in Starting a Business

Poll: Teens Say Bill Gates is the “Greatest Entrepreneur Alive Today”; Most Teens Interested in Starting a Business

Survey by Junior Achievement USA® (JA); Highlights JA Launch Lesson, a New Initiative to Put Entrepreneurs in Classrooms as Part of National Entrepreneurship Month in November

Colorado Springs, Colo. — According to a survey of 1,000 teens conducted by Junior Achievement USA and ORC International, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates is the "Greatest Entrepreneur Alive Today," far outpacing household names like Mark Zuckerberg and Donald Trump. Of those teens expressing an opinion, more than a third (37%) picked Bill Gates, followed by entertainment legends Beyoncé (15%) and Oprah Winfrey (11%). Donald Trump and Mark Zuckerberg trailed (tied at 7%), as did Mark Cuban and Taylor Swift (3%). Daymond John and Barbara Corcoran rounded out the list (tied at 1%).

The JA Launch Lesson highlights current JA programs by bringing an inspiring entrepreneur into the classroom for one hour during the week to share his or her experience with students. The program is designed to be simple for the entrepreneurs to implement, but impactful for the teens   participating. For example, during a JA experience, students can learn how to create a business plan or successfully interview for a job.

"JA is known for bringing entrepreneurship education into the classroom," said Jack E. Kosakowski, president and CEO of Junior Achievement USA. "What makes this initiative different is that it is an intensive experience designed specifically for today's up-and-coming business owner who might not otherwise have time in his or her busy day to engage as a mentor to young people."

According to another survey of 500 teens conducted by JA and ORC International, most 13-17 year olds (87%) have an interest in starting their own business. Nearly half (47%) of teens who expressed an interest would only consider doing so if they were given information on how to run a business, while one-in-five (20%) would only do so if someone was willing to lend them money to start a business. One-in-ten (11%) would if they knew someone who owns their own business, while nearly as many (9%) would need to have a family member with their own business to feel confident enough to become an entrepreneur.

To help engage entrepreneurs in the JA Launch Lesson, JA will be working with organizations including the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), and Babson College. To find out how to become involved with JA Entrepreneurship Month, visit JA.org/Entrepreneurs.


This report presents the findings of two Opinion Research Corporation's Youth CARAVAN surveys conducted among a sample of 1,002 and 500 13-17 year olds. Respondents for these surveys are selected from among those who have volunteered to participate in online surveys and polls. Because the sample is based on those who initially self-selected for participation, no estimates of sampling error are calculated.

About Junior Achievement USA® (JA)

Junior Achievement is the world's largest organization dedicated to giving young people the knowledge and skills they need to own their economic success, plan for their future, and make smart academic and economic choices. JA programs are delivered by corporate and community volunteers, and provide relevant, hands-on experiences that give students from kindergarten through high school knowledge and skills in financial literacy, work readiness, and entrepreneurship. Today, JA reaches 4.8 million students per year in more than 100 markets across the United States, with an additional 5.6 million students served by operations over 100 other countries worldwide. Visit www.ja.org for more information.


Media Contacts:

Lina Bois
Junior Achievement USA®
(719) 540-6171

  • "Junior Achievement has given me a sense of what adults go through with budget issues."

    -Junior Achievement Student
  • "Junior Achievement reinforced concepts for me to remember later in life."

    -Junior Achievement Student
  • "I thought the experience was amazing. The presentation was unlike anything I've seen."

    -Junior Achievement Student
  • "I liked how the Junior Achievement volunteer explained his job to us."

    -Junior Achievement Student

Get Involved with Junior Achievement!

If you would like to volunteer, request a program, or volunteer with JA,
please reach out to a JA near you!