Baby Boomers Own 62% of All U.S. Franchises – According to Guidant Financial and LendingClub’s Report on the State of Small Business

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According to a Small Business Trends survey, the majority of franchised business owners are over 50 years old.

Guidant Financial Franchise

“Baby boomers still represent a majority of people we encounter pursuing franchise opportunities,” said David Nilssen, CEO of Guidant Financial.

The majority of franchised business owners are over 50 years old, according to findings from the latest Small Business Trends survey from small business financing company Guidant Financial and online credit marketplace LendingClub Corporation (NYSE: LC).

The companies teamed up to survey more than 2,700 current and aspiring small business owners across the nation. The survey and its resulting report collect insights about trends in franchising, from details about franchise owners to popular industries and financing methods.

“Baby boomers still represent a majority of people we encounter pursuing franchise opportunities,” said David Nilssen, CEO of Guidant Financial. “These are hardworking people who have spent 20+ years in corporate America leading teams, departments, and business units – and are now ready to put that experience to work in their own small business.”

More Key Findings:

  • 62 percent of franchises are owned by baby boomers.
  • 30 percent of franchises are owned by Gen Xers.
  • Only 8 percent of franchises are owned by millennials.
  • When asked about their happiness as business owners, franchise owners averaged an 8 on a 1 to 10 scale (10 being the happiest), matching the national average of small business owners.
  • Franchise owners have a higher level of education than the average small business owner – 85 percent of franchise owners have a higher degree, while 67 percent of small business owners have a degree beyond high school or a GED.
  • 47 percent of franchise owners have a bachelor’s degree.
  • The most popular franchise industry is health, beauty, and fitness.
  • This is followed by food and restaurant franchises, business services, general retail, and home services.
  • 54 percent of franchises have been in operation for up to three years.
  • 22 percent have been open for four to seven years.
  • 24 percent have been open for over eight years.
  • Rollovers for Business Start-ups (also known as ROBS or 401(k) business financing) (39%), Cash (22%), and SBA loans (13%) are survey respondents’ three most-used forms of franchise financing
  • Low unemployment seems to be creating challenges for SMBs – data shows hiring and retention is a growing struggle for small businesses such as franchises.
  • 14 percent more franchises reported challenges with recruiting and retention of employees year over year.
  • 16 percent more franchises would invest additional capital into staff, year over year.

Accompanying infographic and report can be found at

Between November 6, 2018 and November 16, 2018, Guidant Financial and LendingClub conducted an email survey of more than 2,700 male and female small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs from the continental U.S., Alaska, and Hawaii. Ages of respondents ranged from 18 to over 70.

About Guidant Financial
Headquartered in Bellevue, WA Guidant Financial helps business owners secure financing to start, buy or grow a business. An industry leader in business and franchise financing, Guidant works with new and existing entrepreneurs to identify, evaluate and deploy customized financing solutions. Their services include, but are not limited to, 401(k) business funding, SBA loans, unsecured credit, and portfolio loans. In total, Guidant has helped over 20,000 entrepreneurs in all 50 states to invest more than $4 billion in funds to start small businesses, resulting in more than 85,000 U.S. jobs created. Visit Guidant on the web at

About LendingClub
LendingClub was founded to transform the banking system to make credit more affordable and investing more rewarding. Today, LendingClub's online credit marketplace connects borrowers and investors to deliver more efficient and affordable access to credit. LendingClub's technology platform creates cost efficiencies, which are passed onto borrowers as savings in the form of lower rates and to investors in the form of risk-adjusted returns. LendingClub is based in San Francisco, California. Small business loans facilitated by LendingClub and made by Opportunity Fund and Funding Circle.

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Stacia Kirby
Kirby Communications
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