Millennial small-business owners are committed to their businesses for the long term and are willing to take calculated financial risks and incur debt in order to expand their businesses, according to a new Wells Fargo study of millennial small-business owners.

Eighty percent of millennial small-business owners said they hope to expand their businesses over many years, potentially even passing the business down to their children someday, despite most (59 percent) not yet having children. By comparison, 66 percent of older small-business owners say they hope to pass down the business to their children.

While most small-business owners surveyed say they are extremely wary of taking on debt (75 percent of millennial small-business owners and 78 percent of older small-business owners), millennials are more likely to believe that business debt and financial risk are necessary for the future growth of their businesses. About two-thirds of millennial small-business owners say that some amount of business debt is necessary for growth, or are willing to take financial risks in order to grow their business. By comparison, roughly half of older small-business owners hold these views.

The online survey of approximately 1,000 U.S. small-business owners, conducted March 24 to April 13, also found that millennial small-business owners place more value on feeling passionate about their work. Fifty-nine percent cited passion as a motivation for starting their business, compared with 51 percent of older small-business owners.

Another reason for starting a business -- wanting a challenge and growth -- ranks higher among older owners (55 percent of older small-business owners vs.43 percent of millennial small-business owners).