What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear the word “entrepreneur”? For majority of the people, the word brings images of Mark Zuckerberg, Elizabeth Holmes, Evan Splegel and some high profile millennials who have started off with their companies in their early 20s. But are such young founders epitomes of their entire generation? As per studies by the Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy, in spite of so many over-publicized young guys and girls dropping from college to initiate their own business, very few millennials are selecting the path of entrepreneurial path as compared to their previous generations.
According to US Census data, in the year 2014, less than 2% of the young generation reported that they were self-employed. This is less than even a third of the entrepreneurship rates among the baby boomers and generation X (8.4%). If you check the study carefully, you will notice that a part of the discrepancy should be attributed to the youth of the millennials. More connected and established people are more likely to start off with their own business than the younger generation and their self-employment rates peak at 55.
Why aren’t more millennials motivated to follow the path set by Zuckerberg?
Yes, this is indeed a million-dollar question. When Zuck can set such an example to the Gen-Y, why aren’t many millennials following his footsteps? There are definitely a number of compelling reasons which include the hypothesis that after moving into the job market during the fiscal depression, millennials are averse to risk than their previous generations. While millennials are well-educated than those who came before them, they have an added problem, that of being saddled with staggering amounts of student loan debt, which makes borrowing money extremely difficult.
Considering such factors, it won’t be fair to blame the entire millennial generation for failing to initiate businesses of their own. Despite gaining this kind of reputation, it is true that the millennials were actually handed a raw deal. Still, declining rates in self-employment is one of the biggest problems, not only for the millennials but for an entire generation.
Tips for millennials to jumpstart their business
Millennials aren’t too different from the generations before them but if you know any of them closely, you will see that they have a hunger for knowledge. Here is some advice to take into account.
- Focus on personal development and training: Surveys show that most millennial workers refer to development and training as employee benefits 3 times more than what they rate cash bonuses. Hence, if you wish to train the millennials, you have to keep your program on steroids as this is money is worthwhile to invest. This shouldn’t mean laying out all facet of the role of a millennial. Give them a challenge and let them figure it out.
- Encourage transparency and cooperation: The new generation employee assumes that they should contribute to the decisions which affect the place they’re working. Meetings should be open for everyone, collaborative sessions too where everyone is encouraged to share their ideas with each other. A good leader will always know the process of incorporating it and channeling it.
- Focus on being a mentor: Millennials have already grown up with enough guidance from their guardians, teachers and also the society. They give lots of value to assistance at work. In fact, there have been many millennials who have left their jobs very soon after joining as they were promised to obtain mentorship but they never got it. You can also try pairing a tech-savvy, smart Millennial with a senior correspondent as this will give rise to reciprocal mentoring.
- Reconsider the work schedule: There are many leaders who restructure the entire week so that they can accomodate the stamina of young people and offer them more time to recharge. Be more flexible and try at least three-to-four 10 hours to give employees a 3 day weekend. Make your workplace a place of choice for millennials.
- Commit to some social causes: Leaders who give priority to volunteering and a connection to social causes usually achieve success. There are many who stress their desire to work for a commercial purpose and they also have a positive impact on the society. Successful leaders of the young generation incorporate such activities within their business models so that their employees can communicate with each other and stay within a happy environment.
Therefore, if you’re about to start off with a business of your own, make sure you follow the above mentioned tips and advices. However, one more thing to take into account is to have a successful product on which people will depend and which can meet the needs of the customers. Millennials who are tech-savvy can move forward faster than those who don’t have much intuitive comprehension of the mobile and web.