Millennials - Driven by purpose, not profits
When it comes to starting a new business, the old boys’ club is no longer the norm. Instead, according to the 2016 annual report by the Kauffman Foundation, women started 40.6 percent of new businesses. And joining women in their entrepreneurial quests are minorities.
The 2014 Annual Survey of Entrepreneurs by the U.S. Census Bureau released in fall 2016, found “there were 949,318 minority-owned firms with paid employees, comprising 17.5 percent of all employer firms. These minority-owned employer firms generated $1.1 trillion in receipts (approximately 3.3 percent of the receipts for all employer firms). Among minority-owned employer firms, 12.9 percent had been in business for less than two years.”
Those rates could be driven by millennials, according to a recent Forbes.com story.
The Millenial Entrepreneur
Millennial entrepreneurship isn’t off the charts -- rather the entrepreneurship rate for the 20-to-34 and 35-to-44 age groups is lower than in 1996, but up from 2015, according to the Forbes story -- but the generation’s education levels and views of the world have them poised to deliver the next big thing on their terms.
Many millennials are motivated by making a difference, rather than making money.
In a post on Enterpreneur.com featuring excerpts from his book “The Business of Good,” Jason Haber “serial and social entrepreneur,” said, “This generation believes that profit and purpose can go hand-in-hand. Unlike previous generations, whose pursuits of money and excess are well documented, millennials have far different goals. It’s no longer simply about making money, and that’s an extraordinary shift in thinking.”
That shift in thinking is one of the many changing attitudes millennials bring to the table.
A 2014 Pew Research Center survey found millennials largely in favor of same-sex and interracial marriage and legalized marijuana, while they eschewed traditional religion, distrusted Congress and people in general, and believed today’s young people face greater economic challenges than their parents’ generation. Despite that, they aren’t pessimistic. The same survey found more than half also believe America’s greatest days lie ahead.
Millennials are digital natives and racially diverse (43 percent are non-white according to the Pew survey), thus it is no stretch to think their start-ups will be tech-savvy, broad-thinking and purpose-driven.
In a 2015 analysis of U.S. Census Bureau numbers, the Pew Center found millennials are the most represented generation in the workforce ( 53.6 percent), with that number only expected to climb before it tapers off. So again, it is no stretch to think their start-ups and small businesses no matter what their form will take shape with an eye toward contributing to society rather than their retirement funds.
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