Stand back, everyone: Gen-Z (those born from the mid-1990s to the early 2010s) is on the rise and ready to take over the world.
And that’s a good thing. A very good thing.
Every generation has their young people who set out to change the world, from Henry Ford building the first assembly line factory to Steve Jobs bringing computers into our homes. In that sense, Gen-Z is no exception.
Yet the world we live in today looks and behaves nothing like the world of 100 years ago – or even 10 years ago. The young entrepreneurs of today aren’t waiting until they “grow up” to disrupt society and run their own businesses. In fact, with 91% of Gen-Zers planning to start their own business already, we might say that the teens and children of today might one day be known as the “Entrepreneurial Generation.”
Growing Up Online
Can you remember a time in your life when you didn’t have a device of some kind? Do you have any idea what tv was like before streaming? Chances are, the answer to both these questions is “no,” because, by the time you were born, the Internet was a fact of life. You grew up online. You were tech-savvy before you started kindergarten.
This means you grew up knowing exactly how platforms like Facebook and YouTube work, making those skills intuitive for you. In turn, you already know how to market to a wide audience, collect real-time feedback, and quickly learn other, newer platforms as they are launched. What seems obvious to you now wasn’t always so, giving you an enormous advantage over your entrepreneurial predecessors.
Growing up online also means you know how to take information with a grain of salt and check your sources. You’ve been taught to analyze opinions and mine the internet for real sources, not just one person’s blog. With that in mind, you’re less likely to get taken advantage of by the first person who offers you a get-rich-quick scheme.
Thanks to Gen-Z, the phrase “kid CEO” is becoming more and more popular as children build their own startups and earn a level of success that most adults only dream about.
Navigating Change Quickly
Gone are the days when entrepreneurs-to-be waited patiently to finish high school to learn the business skills they need in college and grad school. Gen-Z knows how and where to find the information you need to start and launch a business right now. Though it’s a cliché to say, you really do have a world of knowledge at your fingertips. You can benefit from the entrepreneurs who came before you while you’re still in grade school.
With zillions of online courses, YouTube videos, and virtual communities, you are able to teach yourself nearly everything you need to know to become an entrepreneur. For you, higher education is no longer simply a way to get a job: it’s the logical next step on the path to entrepreneurial success.
Since you have all this information just a click away, you naturally navigate the ever-changing world of business and self-learning easily. Your adaptability will be one of your greatest assets as you grow up as an entrepreneur.
Gen-Z Knows How the “Gig Economy” Works
Forget trying to land your dream job at a major corporation: Gen-Z would rather start their own. In fact, you’re much more likely to start multiple companies that generate income from a variety of sources than your predecessors did. The idea of working a traditional 9-5 job in a cubicle and earning a paycheck from someone else is neither appealing nor realistic for the workers of tomorrow. You prefer freedom and flexibility over a sure thing, and, unlike older generations, you know how to work the freelance life in your favor. Freelancing, in fact, is now quite a realistic way to make a living and support yourself, especially for those who consider themselves entrepreneurs.
With remote work now a reality, Gen-Z is primed to be much more flexible in your career path than ever before. Since you won’t be tied to an office you will be able to live pretty much anywhere you want. You’ll be able to take on multiple careers and navigate them with style.
Open to Diversity
Thanks to living online, Gen-Z has unprecedented access to other cultures, religions, ethnicities, nationalities, and ways of life. For young entrepreneurs, this translates (no pun intended) to naturally open minds when it comes to team-building and business-growing. You don’t necessarily need “sensitivity training” – “woke” is your resting state. You don’t need to learn how to communicate with co-workers of different backgrounds because you grew up with that. Once again, this may seem obvious to you, but as you enter the workforce you’ll see that open minds have not always been the norm, especially in business.
Not only are you open to a wider range of global faces and beliefs, you appreciate diverse opinions. Your world is less about “right” and “wrong,” and more about taking the time to listen to others and do what’s best for the team.
Because of your natural open-mindedness, you are creating a more inclusive global economy overall – and a better world for everyone.
The Rise of Social Entrepreneurism
As we’ve said before, Gen-Z is all about social change for the better. It makes total sense that you would combine entrepreneurship with making the world a more positive place to live.
Back in the day, entrepreneurs would make money first and then help a cause. Philanthropy followed the financial success. Which made a kind of sense for the way business worked back then. Not so much now.
“Disruption” is a word often associated with Gen-Z. Disrupting the status quo, disrupting the old way of doing things. You have seen what doesn’t work for past generations. You have a sense of urgency to fix all the things that have gone wrong over the past decades and centuries, such as climate change and income inequality. You don’t want to wait until you make your first million dollars before you donate a chunk of it to a cause – you want to generate real change now.
Thanks to you, “social entrepreneurship” is the future of business.
There’s never been a better time for the upcoming generation to disrupt the world of business and make it stronger than ever. You will almost single-handedly reshape entrepreneurship for generations to come.
And we’re here for it.
Florida’s young entrepreneurs are encouraged to apply for a Kantner Foundation college scholarship. Learn more by clicking here!