While they may be young and inexperienced, they bring fresh ideas and new skills to the table. They understand the tech world and are more willing to incorporate new technologies into business models. They are not afraid to think “outside the box.” They have big dreams and want to change the world. Meet: the generation of Millennial Entrepreneurs!
What is a Millennial Entrepreneur?
Millennial entrepreneurs are, as you might have guessed, those coming of age in the new millennium. They are the ones who entered into young adulthood around the year 2000, and had to face a whole new set of technologies, economic trends, and employment challenges.
Because of things like the severe economic crash in 2008, and all the instability that followed, today’s 20- and 30-somethings have been forced to take innovative approaches to financial security.
How? By not depending on employers to give it to them. By striking out on their own, developing their own ideas, and launching grassroots startups. In other words, by becoming entrepreneurs.
Why are they doing it?
The motivation behind millennial entrepreneurship is quite simple: they don’t trust “the man” anymore. In the new millennium, corporate America has simply not proven itself when it comes to job security. Today’s young, creative minds are looking for new ways to ensure their futures. A house.
Marriage. A family. Financial stability. All things the new generation of businessmen and women no longer trust anyone else to provide.
In fact, according to the CT Corporation study, “30% of millennials believe that starting a business offers better job security in the next three to five years, and 20% believe that job security will be greater over the next 10-20 years than what a traditional career offers.”
It’s no wonder that, with role models like Mark Zuckerberg (the inventor of Facebook), Kevin Systrom (Instagram), and David Karp (Tumblr), modern young adults are wanting to exchange the nine-to-five workday under someone else’s control, for revolutionary social entrepreneurship.
They want to make their own way. Make their own schedules. And ensure their own financial futures.
How Do We Benefit?
While the market crash caused many setbacks for both young and old, it may have actually been a blessing in disguise.
How? We now have an entire generation of minds and hearts working to create new business ideas. And it’s not just in the form of social media. There are countless stories of young entrepreneurs who are not only securing themselves financially, but also bringing us new, inspired products and opportunities.
Twenty-eight-year-old Goldston twins, Ryan and Adam, for example, developed a colorful, creative line of shoes that actually enhance running and jumping performance. Their product was so successful that in 2010, following a ban from the NBA, they proceeded to sell nine months of inventory in seventy-two hours!
Twenty-two-year-old Jourdan Urbach, the first seven-year-old to play at Carnegie Hall, went on to form the International Coalition for College Philanthropists while attending Yale University at age seventeen, and recently created a video app called Ocho that is Vine’s biggest rival to date. According to the article, Jourdan is a believer that the entrepreneurial spirit of his generation is enough to restore humanity.
The Challenges Are Real
Not all millennials have the know-how of the Goldston twins or the confidence of Jourdan Urbach, though. Unfortunately, although percentages from the CT study show that 65% of college students feel a strong desire to start their own businesses instead of working a regular job, only 45% actually believe it’s possible.
Why is that? Because studies show that today’s youth, though high in creative spirit, are lacking in important areas such as self-esteem and even the technical skill sets necessary to achieve their goals. The study shows that a whopping 70% of millennials do not have the proper knowledge about how to start a business. They are young. They are driven. They are creative. But they need the right support.
In the study, the staggering results show that 67% of young adults feel they don’t know how to start a business, 45% do not feel confident in naming their business, 20% don’t know how to write a business plan, 30% don’t think they can market themselves properly, and 20% don’t know how to go about registering a domain name for a website.
When it comes to these basic building blocks of entrepreneurship, a lack of confidence or ability can mean the difference between success and stagnation.
What is Our Role?
It is commonplace in our country to treat the younger generations as just a group of inexperienced, idealistic kids. But entrepreneurship has been one of the greatest economic strongholds of our society, and rather than knock down or dismiss the young ones trying to make themselves a creative and functional part of society, we need to be supporting them. Encouraging their visions. Helping them towards their goals. Even when we might think their ideas seem impossible to implement, it is exactly those kinds of ideas that sometimes are the basis of the most successful and revolutionary businesses out there. But success doesn’t come in a day.
Millennials, especially, need our support to not give up and give in to standard employment options in exchange for their dreams. Most importantly, they need us to be open and willing receivers of what they have to offer.
“As a society we need to not frown upon the 26-year-old building a business from their parent’s garage, but look at them as possibly the next Steve Jobs.” – Britt Hysen, author of “The Power of Millennial Entrepreneurship”