by Nate Vickery, editor-in-chief of Bizzmarkblog.com
As the majority of the workforce shifts from one generation to the other, the industry is bound to change, as well. At the moment, it is reshaping itself in order to meet the needs of the ever-growing millennial population within its ranks. Now, while a lot of people whine about the ‘entitled millennials’ who expect a trophy every time they do anything, this is not necessarily true and some of these changes are overwhelmingly positive. For instance, millennials are showing a surprising amount of entrepreneurial spirit and therefore increasing the number of startups and SMBs in the world.
With this in mind, here are five ways in which millennials are impacting the startup boom we are witnessing today.
1. The growing number of startups.
While they are constantly accused of lacking entrepreneurial spirit, the present day statistics claim otherwise. First of all, according to several surveys, about 30 percent of millennials currently own some form of small business, even if it is just a one-person home-based startup. Not only that but about 26 percent of all millennials are capable of living off of this business, which makes for a surprising self-employment success rate, unlike anything we’ve seen in the past. As for the future, about half of all millennials hope to start a business within the next couple of years, while more than half are so dedicated to this idea that they would be willing to quit their day-job for it.
2. Faster globalization.
Another important thing that has to be noted here is the fact that millennials are far more likely to move abroad in order to start a business, provided that they find the conditions at their target destination suitable enough. While about 65 percent of them would be willing to move abroad for their business, they don’t dismiss the idea of outsourcing their offshore office or hiring remote workers either. Luckily, in the age of sophisticated IM services, cloud-based technologies and collaboration tools, physical relocation might not even be necessary, making this move even more appealing.
3. Willingness to take a risk.
Although it is true that there are many business opportunities that can be started without any initial capital, a surprisingly large portion of the millennial population hates going into the unknown without any backup. This problem also relates to their potential market, seeing as how the growing number of millennial startups (90 percent of which fail within the first five years) don’t necessarily evoke enough trust. Still, there are various methods like performance bonds, which can make this risk at least a bit lower. On the other hand, the fact remains that even with all these downsides, when it comes to taking a risk, millennials still show a much higher chance of actually trying to start a business of their own.
4. Startup-driven economy.
At the end of the day, it is undeniable that millennial entrepreneurs create jobs and therefore drive an entire economy forward. Nonetheless, this is only one side of the coin. You see, by employing other millennials (just under 40 percent of all millennials have worked in a startup at one point), they are encouraging others to take initiative. In time, it isn’t unlikely that some of their employees will break off in order to start businesses of their own and in this way, create a self-sustainable cycle of a startup-driven economy.
5. Turning away from a traditional job security.
Surprisingly, one of the things that greatly differentiates the millennials from baby boomers is the fact that they find no comfort in the traditional employment system of finding a 9 to 5 job and waiting for retirement. To further support this claim, there is a surprising lack of interest in home ownership amongst the millennial population. Needless to say, the lack of mortgage drastically reduces one’s need for a steady income, even though not starving to death serves as a great motivator, as well. On the other hand, this is a positive thing from the entrepreneurial standpoint, seeing as how it encourages taking initiative and taking risks.
At the end of the day, what they lack in traditional work ethic values, millennials more than make up for in innovativeness and entrepreneurial spirit. Therefore, all the naysayers out there, claiming that this generation or the next one will be the one that causes the downfall of the economy, have nothing to fear. Will the world come to an end with millennials at the helm? Of course not. Will it remain the same as in the era of their forefathers? Definitely not! In the words of the immortal Bob Dylan: “The times they are a-changin’.”
Nate Vickery is a business technology consultant mostly engaged in management and marketing for SMB and startups. Nate is also the editor-in-chief at a business oriented blog Bizzmarkblog.com.