During a time of rapid technological advancements and a shifting economic landscape, one generation stands out as the torchbearer of entrepreneurial spirit: Generation Z. Born between the mid-1990s and the early 2010s, this age group not only embraces the entrepreneurial mindset but also surpasses all other generations in their aspirations to start businesses.
A recent survey conducted by GOBankingRates reveals that a remarkable 51% of 18- to 24-year-olds express their desire to embark on an entrepreneurial journey, with an impressive 14% already taking the leap into the world of business ownership — higher percentages than any other age group.
Here’s a look at why Gen Zers are such an entrepreneurial cohort and how their business passions will affect the workforce moving forward.
Why Gen Zers Are the Most Entrepreneurial
Gen Z’s digital fluency and access to groundbreaking technology have empowered them to pursue entrepreneurial ventures with ease and confidence.
“It is easier than ever to start a business right now,” said Michael Wagner, co-founder of Omnia Family Wealth. “New technology like AI means that we don’t need as many people working [at] our companies, and having these barriers come down makes it easier for Gen Z to start their own businesses.”
Growing up in a world where they witnessed the rise of social media influencers, many Gen Zers watched their childhood YouTubers grow from having a few followers while living in their parents’ houses to being millionaires through the success of brand deals and product lines. Gen Z has seen how technology has helped young entrepreneurs achieve massive success, and now they are inspired to forge their own path.
“Having grown up in a digital world,” Wagner said, “they are tech-savvy, comfortable with digital communication and e-commerce, and naturally inclined to leverage technology to start and grow businesses.”
Secondly, Gen Z is interested in building their own career path and day-to-day instead of sticking to the traditional 9-to-5.
“The changing nature of work and a desire for autonomy encourage entrepreneurial pursuits,” said Vikrant Shaurya, entrepreneur and CEO of Authors on Mission, a company dedicated to helping individuals become published authors. “Freelancing, the gig economy and remote work trends have shown Gen Z that there are alternatives to traditional employment.”
How Gen Z’s Entrepreneurial Spirit Will Shape the Future
Check out these four ways Gen Z’s entrepreneurial spirit is likely to shape the future of workplaces.
Increased Business Ownership
Gen Z’s aspirations to start businesses are set to shape the future workforce with a significant increase in young business owners. With 51% of 18- to 24-year-olds expressing their desire to embark on entrepreneurial journeys, we can anticipate a surge of Gen Zers launching their own careers, motivated to create a workforce that aligns with their values and reap the financial rewards.
“My (entrepreneur) clients didn’t get to where they are by working for someone else,” Wagner said. “Our capitalist system is set up to favor capital over labor. So, if you want to become a client someday, the best way to do it is probably to start your own business. Investing in yourself is where you’ll make real returns.”
“Having grown up in a digital world, Gen Zers are tech-savvy, comfortable with digital communication and e-commerce, and naturally inclined to leverage technology to start and grow businesses,” Shaurya said.
With their digital fluency, Gen Z entrepreneurs will prioritize user-friendly technologies, intuitive interfaces and seamless digital experiences sure to not only create amazing innovations but also sure to boost businesses’ success.
Social and Environmental Justice
Gen Z is a socially conscious generation that places great importance on the values and impacts of the organizations they support.
“Their emphasis on social impact could lead to a rise in businesses focused on sustainability, equality and social good,” Shaurya said. “This could shift economic activity toward more socially responsible models.”
Gen Z is likely to prioritize ethical sourcing, environmentally friendly practices and social responsibility, aligning their businesses with causes and values that resonate with their target market. By incorporating social and environmental justice into their business models, Gen Z entrepreneurs will redefine success, demonstrating that profitability can go hand in hand with purpose and positive impact.
Flexible Working Arrangements
Gen Z is likely to shake up the workplace like never before. This generation is not a fan of the traditional 9-to-5 that’s been around since the industrial revolution. Instead, they want flexibility, collaboration and remote work that suit their lifestyle.
“Their preference for flexible work arrangements might result in a more widespread acceptance of non-traditional work structures, leading to a more diverse, distributed and dynamic global workforce,” Shaurya said. “Gen Z’s entrepreneurship could thus create a more innovative, socially-responsible and flexible economy.”
It’s likely Gen Z will champion a workplace where outcomes matter more than hours worked. This generation believes you work to live, and not the other way around; meaning, they are interested in creating opportunities for diverse talent and exploring working outside of the confines of traditional office spaces.
More From GOBankingRates
- 6 Ways To Tell If You're Middle Class or Upper Middle Class
- If You Find a Rare 'Doubled Die' Penny, It Could Be Worth $1.14 Million
- 3 Ways to Recession Proof Your Retirement
- Here's How To Build a 6-Month Emergency Fund
Methodology: GOBankingRates surveyed 1,028 Americans aged 18 and older from across the country between June 27 and June 29, 2023, asking ten different questions: (1) How do you support small businesses? (Select all that apply); (2) Which small businesses do you most frequent?; (3) How often do you spend money at small businesses?; (4) Do you prefer to spend money at a small business over a chain or major retailer?; (5) Would you choose to spend at a small business over a major company even if it meant paying a higher price?; (6) What do you prefer about a small business over a chain or major retailer? (Select all that apply); (7) Over the past three years, how has your relationship (or spending) with small businesses changed?; (8) How do you interact with small businesses the most?; (9) Have you ever considered starting a small business?; and (10) What is preventing you from starting a small business?. GOBankingRates used PureSpectrum’s survey platform to conduct the poll.