The Millennipreneur generation: Entrepreneurial risk-takers out to smash success ceilings while still in their 20s
The business landscape, as we know it, will change tremendously with the millennial generation at the helm. These are the young adults of today, from 22 to 35 years old, who grew up with smartphones, were weaned on social media, and will soon ride the Internet Of Things (IoT) like seasoned, courageous surfers on top of a huge wave. Leaving the comforts of home and the college life, many of them are driven enough to take risks. Their entrepreneurial mindset, coupled with their millennial background, has already gifted them a new name: “Millenipreneur,” a shortcut for the phrase “Millennial entrepreneur.”
The surveys and studies make it clear that people ages 28 to 35 years old would rather create their own paths, abandoning the traditional employment career ladder that brought their parents and older siblings security, stability, and predictability. At least for a short span of time, until two economic crashes in the past 25 years, coupled with the rise of the online world, shook the foundations of corporate culture to its core.
A survey by Bentley University forecasts that millennials per se will compose 75 percent of the global workforce in nine years’ time. However, 66 percent of these young talents have already expressed their intention that they prefer to start their own businesses, rather than join one as a paid employee. Fortune observes that while Gen-X workers started becoming entrepreneurs at the age of 35, millennials are doing so at the age of 27. These new business savants are also more optimistic than their parents: Millennial entrepreneurs expect a 75 percent increase in gross profit margins this year, while baby boomers anticipate only 42 percent. The enterprises run by this younger generation are also hiring more people; their companies have an average staff number of 120, compared to their parents which started with roughly 40.
Zach Cutler, a marketing entrepreneur, gives the reasons behind the motivation fueling his generation in his article for Entrepreneur magazine. As students, they grew up idolizing innovators like Steve Jobs who struck it rich on their own by developing new products and creating powerful ideas that changed the world. At the same time, they were disillusioned by the scores of corporate scandals that triggered a new recession, wiped out savings, and sent millions back to welfare.
Millennials also rode the crest of the digital technology that birthed entirely new industries, redefined communications, and connected people from different countries, cultures, and races through the Internet. All that connectivity, writes Cutler, also made them “more collaborative”; open-source and social media smashed the secrecy with which their parents used to protect their ideas. Replacing it was a newfound collaboration that accelerated the development of information and contributed to increasing innovation that attracted droves of loyal customers.
Expect millennipreneurs to be info-hungry business people, eternally checking their smartphones for stock news in Born2Invest, socio-political analyses in the Huffington Post, and watching customers’ responses to their product advertising in YouTube.
One final motivation that might surprise the older generation about millennials is their hunger. Like many of his peers, Cutler founded his PR company at the age of 22 in his bedroom. A harsh reality made them work and work hard, driving away whatever thoughts of entitlement they might have had. Cutler confesses, “We graduated during the worst recession in decades. Many of us were up to our necks in student loans. We couldn’t find jobs. To dig out of this financial mess, we millennials have had to be extremely creative and learn to do things in new ways.”
And they are continuing to keep on creating. One other factor that can make their success come faster is their lack of fear of failure. Failing is one insecurity that has caused many of their older colleagues to step back, reconsider their path, and possibly even give up the fight. Not the millennipreneur. Failure is but one lesson in the classroom of life they want to conquer. It is a small price to pay for what they want to accomplish: as per the description of Fortune, it’s becoming another Bill Gates, but doing what the tech genius at the age of 50 while they themselves are still in their 30s.