Of late there has been an increasing trend of millennials starting their own business at relatively young ages as compared to the generation of the boomers. By the age of 27 more millennials own firms, have more employees and are raking in higher profits from their entrepreneurial endeavors. In contrast, most boomers (over 50 years) set their first businesses when they were 35.
The entrepreneurial spirit witnessed among the millennials is hinged on some key factors. These enablers include technology, post-recession challenges, millennials’ growth mindset, the need for independence and flexibility.
Technology is a key pillar of entrepreneurial success for millennials. Firstly, technology has opened up access to angel investors and information. The infrastructure of corporations has been upload in ‘the cloud’ in a way that is easy and convenient for entrepreneurs to use. For this reason, millennials find it easy to develop and realize their business ideas. Technology is playing a big part in cost cutting measures for the millennials. The Millennials are shifting from the brick-and-mortar approach to business to pure play internet models, removing the need for a physical space. In some cases, there is an integration of the brick-and-mortar model and the virtual platforms. Visual communication technologies like video conferencing have improved trust and relationships over the internet. Visual communication is more efficient and cost-effective compared to standard phone calls and other communication platforms that were previously used by firms.
Need For Independence And Flexibility
Millennials are increasingly getting convinced that traditional career pathways may lead nowhere. According to a recent survey, 67% of millennials said they would prefer starting their own business compared to 13% who said their career goal was climbing the corporate ladder to be presidents and CEOs. Millennials perceive chaos in the traditional forms of employment. The challenges of job cut, broken contracts, job freezes, bias in promotions, among others factors are driving Millennials to seek for a better way of career success. For most millennials, the answer to these socioeconomic challenges is in pursuing entrepreneurship.
Also, most Millennials view work flexible hours as key to achieving improved results. In the current digital generation, it is possible to run firms at absolutely any location within the global, and anytime.
Some millennials start their businesses out of necessity than by the desire to look for newer opportunities. The unemployment rate among millennials has more than doubled in the post-recession period. Most millennials are resorting to entrepreneurship as a way of charting their career paths. It is a matter of can’t do, can’t help.
Millennials are more open to challenges and failures than the boomers. Previously, failures were looked down upon and loathed with equal measure. Today, one can fail and keep going on. Also, millennial entrepreneurs have learned that ‘with every failure, there is a lesson to be learned.’ The view of social has also changed a great deal. In the yesteryear, entrepreneurs built business empires first before considering philanthropy. Today, millennials think of social responsibilities early on. As such, many millennials are leaving employment to start their firms earlier than the boomers did, for a better opportunity to give back to society.
Millennial entrepreneurs have changed the way we do business. Let’s look at some interesting business trends associated with millennial entrepreneurs.
The Sharing Economy
There is an increasing trend towards sharing ecosystems. Firms are adopting the ‘we’ instead of the ‘I’ mentality, providing value and profit for their businesses. Examples of companies that are pursuing this business are Uber and Nimber. Also, the sharing economy identifies untapped resources and makes maximum use of the same for the benefit of the society. The ‘we’ economy is a win-win business model for firms and also the society.
Emojis Led Startups
Emojis are increasingly becoming a dominant form of expression within the business and social circles. There are customized emojis by race, representing various emotions and messages. Social media platforms such Facebook, WhatsApp, and Snapchat, are awash with these emoticons. Millennial entrepreneurs are incorporating emotions into their business models and communication channels to tap into more customers.
Global Economy Tectonic Shift
The sharing economy is pushing market insurgents to disrupt themselves in the global economy. Millennial and Boomer owned firms are forming a collaborative mix to cope with the shift in the economy brought about by the entry of millennial owned firms.
About the Author: Patrick Henry CEO is an industry veteran when it comes to startups and angel investment. Mr. Henry is a seasoned executive, CEO, and board of directors’ member, with over 25 years’ experience in managing high technology companies.