How Millennials and Gen Z are changing entrepreneurship
Sophie is a 21-year-old woman who has always been fascinated with brewing coffee. Since childhood, she has seen her grandma brew coffee, and her passion and love for coffee led her to start her own coffee business, Sophie Brews.
Her business is doing very well, and she has even hired a workforce to keep it moving.
While her grandmother saw it as a hobby, Sophie saw it as an opportunity to turn it into a full-fledged online business where people can order fresh coffee in her locality, and people can come to collect it, or she has it delivered within 15 minutes to their doorstep. Perhaps, Sophie Brews is the next coffee revolution?
Today, technology has empowered and emboldened Gen Z and Millennials to become the most powerful generation. Like Sophie, thousands of young, dynamic, social-minded, and tech-savvy individuals aged 16 to 36 are changing the entrepreneurial landscape by turning every idea and skill into an opportunity to start a business.
It’s time to help them scale their ideas and initiatives.
Statistics around Millennial and Gen Z entrepreneurs
Here are some statistics about Millennial and Gen Z business entrepreneurs:
- 66% of millennial respondents want to be entrepreneurs.
- 24% of millennial entrepreneurs established their own businesses to gain financial security, whereas just 15% of Gen Z entrepreneurs did the same.
- Millennial and Gen Z company owners value work-life balance, with more than half of both generations seeing it as a crucial reason for their decision to become entrepreneurs.
These stats suggest that Millennial and Gen Z entrepreneurs seek flexibility, work-life balance, and financial stability while simultaneously making a strong social impact.
How Millennials and Gen Z are reshaping the entrepreneurial landscape
Millennial and Gen Z founders are growing their startups by raising millions in funding and harnessing the power of social media to scale their ideas and side hustles into seven-figure empires.
According to the US Census Bureau, the US saw 3.4 million new business applications in 2021. The rise in “hustle culture,” in addition to the growing gig economy and mammoth social media push, has paved the way for Millennials and Gen Z to create communities, online shops, and accessible marketplaces.
Two France-based Gen Zers, Alexis de Bernede and Marius Jacob, the founders of Darmo Art gallery, have turned a $2,000 investment into an art gallery that sells $600K pieces. Designed to appeal to and usher in a new generation of art collectors, their two shows netted six figures each, and they are now planning future exhibitions in Paris.
Oladosu Teyibo, the millennial founder of Analog Teams, is on track to net seven figures in fostering Africa’s rising tech stars. His software development company focuses on hiring talent from underrepresented communities. And he has already expanded into six African countries, including Kenya, Ghana, and Nigeria.
The examples and stories of such outstanding new-age entrepreneurs are never-ending.
Let’s take a closer look at how Millennials and Gen Z are transforming the business landscape and shaping the future.
1. Millennials and GenZ: the DIY generations
Millennials and Gen Z are frequently referred to as the “DIY generation” due to their entrepreneurial spirit and desire to take matters into their own hands. Their success is largely due to technological and information improvements, making it more feasible for Millennials and Gen Z to start their businesses or take on initiatives independently. Furthermore, many Millennials and Gen Z have grown up in an uncertain economic environment and have learned to be resourceful and self-sufficient.
Let’s take an example from Sophie’s story and how she turned her passion for brewing into a revenue-generating business. Like Sophie, many Millennials and Gen Zs have found an opportunity to pursue their passions and turn them into an income stream.
Starting a small business from the comfort of their home allows Millennials and Gen Zs to be their boss and have control over the work schedule, which aligns with the DIY mindset.
Additionally, numerous online platforms like Fiverr, Upwork, Freelance.com, etc., enable them to start their businesses. Even new domain extensions such as .icu and .cyou cater to the DIY mindset of Millennials and Gen Z.
For instance, Amelie is a new-age media professional with a strong presence on Fiverr. She uses www.amelietalks.icu to share her portfolio of work. Similarly, www.intervals.icu and www.allinweb.cyou have adopted new-age domain extensions as part of their digital identity.
These extensions offer Millennials a memorable and creative online identity, making them perfect for the digital natives of today who are always seeking unique ways to show their ideas to the world.
2. AI tech inspires Millennials and Gen Z to become entrepreneurs
Many Millennials and Gen Z recognize AI’s potential to launch and grow scalable businesses.
They leverage AI technologies to develop creative solutions, automate time-consuming tasks, and optimize their businesses.
Not only that, but the rise of AI has also made it easier for new startups to enter markets and compete with established businesses.
Here’s how AI is assisting Millennials and Gen Z in achieving their entrepreneurial dreams:
- Automating repetitive tasks – Repetitive operations can be automated using AI-powered solutions, freeing up entrepreneurs’ time and allowing them to focus on more creative and strategic parts of their businesses.
- Driving insights from data – AI can assess vast volumes of data and deliver significant insights to entrepreneurs, allowing them to make informed decisions and improve their business plans.
- Improving the customer experience – AI-powered chatbots and virtual assistants can improve the customer experience by responding to consumer inquiries promptly.
- Increasing operational efficiency – AI can assist businesses in streamlining procedures, increasing productivity, and lowering expenses, making it easier for entrepreneurs to scale their businesses.
Overall, artificial intelligence makes entrepreneurship more accessible and efficient for Millennials and Gen Zs, helping them bring their ideas to life and succeed in a competitive economic world.
3. Millennials and GenZ are advocates of change
To say that the tech generation is idealistic would be an understatement. Three of the most powerful influences driving the generation are causes, innovation, and social responsibility.
Millennial and Gen Z entrepreneurs want to leverage their business ideas to push for constructive social change. Change can include encouraging social and environmental responsibility, advocating for diversity and inclusion, and utilizing their resources and influence to promote causes that they believe in.
They are setting a new standard for corporate responsibility and showing that business can be a force for good in the world.
Also, many of these entrepreneurs incorporate their values and beliefs into their products and services, appealing to consumers with similar values.
For Millennial and Gen Z entrepreneurs, starting a small business is a powerful avenue to advocate change. These entrepreneurs often have a distinct sense of motivation and mission beyond economic profits. They utilize their businesses to fuel the changes they want to see in the world. They may, for example, opt to obtain products from sustainable or eco-friendly brands, pay employees a livable wage, or donate a portion of profits to philanthropic organizations. By making these choices, they are sending a message and setting an example that is consistent with their values and beliefs. Furthermore, by establishing successful businesses, these entrepreneurs can inspire others to follow in their footsteps and become change advocates.
4. Millennials and Gen Z give importance to building communities
Social media has shaped Millennials and Gen Z. When they think about spreading their message, they want to make a significant contribution to the online community rather than blasting out taglines and hoping people would buy what they’re offering.
In fact, because Gen Z views social media in this light, 76% of them feel they can turn their interests into full-time jobs. Many see becoming a social media influencer as a viable career option.
Fostering a community of customers, workers, and partners allows them to develop a sense of belonging and create a shared sense of purpose because they value diversity, collaboration, and connectedness. Furthermore, these generations are well-connected through technology and social media, making it easier for them to form and engage with online groups.
5. Millennials and Gen Z have a side hustle mentality
In today’s socioeconomic environment, young people are strongly motivated to mix study or full-time employment with a side hustle.
A side hustle approach helps Millennials and Gen Zs become successful entrepreneurs by allowing them to be flexible, imaginative, and willing to take risks. With the rise of the gig economy, many people in these generations are used to having multiple sources of income and being multitaskers.
This approach extends to entrepreneurship, where they can experiment with new ideas, pivot when necessary, and take calculated risks to grow their business. Furthermore, the side hustle mindset can lead to better financial stability and security because entrepreneurs can diversify their revenue streams and reduce the risk of relying entirely on one business venture. In turn, their mindset allows entrepreneurs to pursue their passions and interests while earning a consistent income, which can lead to higher job satisfaction and success in the long run.
Entrepreneurship is more than just business
Gen Z and Millennials are driving the entrepreneurship landscape by adopting new technology and inventive ideas. They are taking chances, launching enterprises, and disrupting the status quo. They are ushering in a new era of entrepreneurship that stresses social responsibility, flexibility, and creativity, thanks to their unique abilities, experiences, and viewpoints.
These generations demonstrate that entrepreneurship is more than just a way to make money; it is also a way to make a positive difference in the world. Their foresight paves the path for a brighter future of entrepreneurship and influences how they run businesses.