The ‘Entrepreneur’ Generation → Generation Z
By Britney Gu
Who is Generation Z?
Born between 1996 and 2015, Generation Z is the first generation to have grown up in the age of widespread internet usage, and subsequently the first to have grown up with such ease of access to knowledge. Common traits within Gen Z are pragmatism, being tech-savvy, focus on ethics, and finally, entrepreneurship (McKinsey, 2018).
A study conducted by The Center for Generational Kinetics reported that 91% of Generation Z want to start their own business at some point in their life, with 61% of those being businesses conducted online. Growing up in the world of technology, Gen Z is the most likely generation to see technology as a powerful and positive means towards the future, as opposed to older generations. In the same study, tech-savviness was the second-most important value overall, only after freedom.
With freedom and technology being the highest values held by Gen Z, it makes sense that they are the generation most open to entrepreneurship and running their own businesses; places where they would have control and flexibility over what they wanted to do. These same values are seen in many startups today, defining the ‘startup culture’ as one that values equal hierarchy, innovation, and flexibility.
The Entrepreneurial Mindset
So how did this entrepreneur mindset form? Well, Gen Z are natives of the online world, meaning they are fully aware of the potential that the internet brings. No longer is higher education a necessary pursuit, as many skills can be found and learnt with a simple Google search. Because of this, Gen Z has a very growth-oriented mindset, and are motivated to learn and work on their own terms. Access to the internet also gives access to limitless knowledge, fostering creative ideas for new and innovative business propositions. From these ideas, Gen Z are able to learn the skills required to execute these ideas by themselves, learning from the experiences and advice from others around the world; and are hence able to start their own businesses, bringing their ideas to life.
So, what does this mean for the future? In a world where every individual wants to start their own business, what are the ramifications of such entrepreneurship? Generally, entrepreneurship is positive to the economy, as it encourages economic growth, productivity, and competition, as well as creating new markets. Interestingly, as huge corporations are currently growing and gaining bigger monopolies on markets, there is a strange dichotomy between market dominance for a large multinational corporation and the intense competition predicted between young startups. Sadly, as observable in today’s current culture, most of these startups will not reach great reach. But while part of success is luck, careful analysis into markets and identification of opportunities and niches could lead to the rapid growth of Gen Z-run businesses, maybe even your own!