The short answer is baby boomers. This generation runs 62% of the nation’s franchise businesses compared to 30% operated by Gen X owners and just 8% by millennials.

That’s according to a Small Business Trends analysis by Guidant Financial using data from its 2019 State of Small Business survey conducted with LendingTree.

Thanks to consistent growth of dollar output, establishment, and employment and owners hungry to grow their businesses, franchises are a vital, strong piece of the American economy,” the analysis said. “An excellent choice for aspiring entrepreneurs who aren’t interested in rebuilding the wheel, franchises are a dependable option for those looking to follow their dreams of small business ownership.”

The analysis found franchisees are confident in the state of small business, given the current political climate, and generally happy as small business owners.

They are well educated, with most having a college or post graduate education level, and nearly four out of five are men.

The biggest problems cited by franchisees are a lack of access to capital (24%) and the ability to find and keep employees (21%). The list of challenges was rounded out with marketing and advertising, time management, administrative work, and benefits.

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