Gen Z: The Most Entrepreneurial Generation

Gen Z Entrepreneur

A Desire for Flexibility and Social Change is Driving These Young Innovators To Go Into Business for Themselves

As the world emerges on the other side of a generation-defining event, the COVID-19 pandemic, it is no small wonder that its effects are showing up most prominently in the demographic who has learned the most from it. Gen Z, those born between 1997 and 2012, have proven themselves to be quite the self-starters. According to an internal study commissioned by Microsoft and conducted by Wakefield Research, 62% of Gen Zers declared that they have started or intend to start their own business. Let’s examine the five ways in which Gen Z has come to be more entrepreneurial than older generations. 

1. Gen Z is the First Generation Raised with Technology

Technology has played a very large role in the upbringing of many Gen Zers, as they are the first generation to have used a smartphone and social media from an early age. The effects of this are clear as they have become the most digitally adept generation, which allows them to easily embrace and implement new technologies that allow them to grow their brand and social presence. Social media platforms such as TikTok have been a massive resource for Gen Z, as the Microsoft survey found that Gen Z business owners use TikTok nearly twice as much as other generations to learn about business. 

2. Gen Z Rejects the Norms of the Corporate World

The business world has changed drastically over the recent decades; many opportunities available to Gen Z’s parents are now no longer available or are not as lucrative. This has led to discontent with the entrenched norms of the corporate world. Yahoo! Finance cites ZenBusiness in a survey, noting, “72 percent of those surveyed said that ‘traditional career paths that were open to their parents are no longer open to them.’ Another 86 percent said they could ‘no longer rely on the same old strategies to get ahead’ in their careers. And 90% said they wanted ‘to create something new and better for the world.’” These notions are echoed in their desires to forge a new path.

3. Gen Z Wants Increased Flexibility 

In tandem with Gen Z’s rejection of traditional corporate work is their desire for flexibility. These last few years have proven to the world that remote work is not only viable but preferable to the typical 9 to 5 commute that many Americans find themselves in today. Microsoft’s data shows that 91% of Gen Z work unconventional hours, with 81% working on vacation. They use this flexibility not only to improve their business output but also to achieve a satisfactory work-life balance, where they are able to maintain an active social life along with a successful business. 

4. Gen Z Values Social Change Through Business

According to the Microsoft survey, “half of Gen Z small business owners (50%) rank social good as among their top three business priorities, out of a list of options including financial stability, business growth and expansion, brand image/reputation, environmental sustainability and achieving fame.” The desire to contribute positively to one’s community is exemplified in Gen Z’s entrepreneurial spirit. Many young business owners find it much easier and more rewarding to interact directly with their community and clients. Not only does this help their businesses grow, but it also contributes to their overall happiness and success. 

5. Gen Z is Optimistic about the Future 

This level of autonomy over their futures has led many Gen Zers to become more optimistic about their future. With many major problems on the horizon for current and future generations, such as climate change and inequality, Gen Z has proven that they are more than eager and capable of tackling these issues and finding innovative and creative ways to stop them. By prioritizing these metrics of success, Gen Z will redefine what it means to be financially successful. Their skills have primed them to bring about the changes necessary in the world. 

As a whole, Gen Z has proven themselves to be seriously invested in their future and the future of their communities. These are just a few of the many ways Gen Z has found themselves to be the most entrepreneurial generation the world has seen in many years. Because of their strong digital literacy and desire for change, Gen Z is in a spectacular position to dramatically alter the business world and enact positive change. 

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Adam Espejo is an enthusiastic journalist dedicated to blending humanities with the business world. He graduated from the University College Dublin with a bachelor's degree in Classics, English, and History.
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