How Era Z Is Altering the Face of Entrepreneurship for Good
November 24, 2020 7 min read
The opinions expressed by the entrepreneur’s contributors are their own.
For the longest time my generation, the millennials, has been touted as the entrepreneurial generation. For the most part, we did the billing. However, as the world evolves, so does the art of business, and it turns out Gen Z has more to do with that development than many would like to admit.
Generation Z entrepreneurs are so baffling that a recent Gallup student survey found that 40 percent of grades 5 through 12 students surveyed said they wanted to run their own business. Then 24 percent said they had already started. At this rate, it is by no means difficult to see Generation Z as the most entrepreneurial generation.
What I find interesting when I watch this generation is that they distance themselves from the generation before them in the way they innovate and do business. There are some interesting differences between the way this generation carries on and the traditional entrepreneurial pattern.
An early start
Generation Z prefers to start a company early on that was born into the boom in the corporate message. Many of their parents (millennials) are entrepreneurs too, and this has encouraged a shocking number of child entrepreneurs to take flight.
Seeing child CEOs becomes somewhat normal. Examples abound like Moziah Bridges, who founded Moziah’s Bows at the age of nine and quickly grew his business to $ 150,000 a year. Moziah has several employees, has gone to Shark Tank, and has been featured in several popular magazines. There are many more examples than this article can cover.
Related: 10 Ways To Become A Millionaire In Your 20s
Traditionally, the majority of millennial entrepreneurs started out in college, after college, or some in high school, but the trend is more towards a younger age group. The advantages of an early start are obvious. Investors and sponsors are more willing to support young people’s businesses than older ones.
The story of Trey Brown, the 14-year-old founder of SPERGO, a boutique fashion collection that received $ 25,000 from Sean Diddy Combs, made the rounds recently, and that’s just one of many. Generation Z doesn’t just start early. It takes advantage of an early start.
To the best of our knowledge, mentoring was and is one of the most important pillars for successful entrepreneurship. That fact hasn’t changed with Generation Z, but they certainly don’t get their mentorship the way we got it.
Communities in social media have become a point of contact for Generation Z entrepreneurs to get advice and support. Mutual interest groups have always existed, but Generation Z did it even better.
A large proportion of Generation Z entrepreneurs are self-taught and use Google, YouTube and other platforms. However, a significant proportion rely on communities of mutual interest to test ideas, seek advice, and make business decisions.
‘Streetwear Startup’ is one of those communities that has made a simple Reddit page with rave reviews for the closeness of their community and the number of successful streetwear startups it has brought out.
Jaffry Jan Mallari is the young CEO of RSG RESURGENCE and one of those streetwear startup success stories. In his own words, “Reddit is a major contributor to Resurgence’s success. The community has boosted my visibility and attracted fans like Dustin Wang, who later became a regular.”
Related: Meet 16 Teenage Founders Who Are Building Big Businesses – And Making Big Bucks
Jaffry Jan went from initial high school failure to business failure, then to massive success. He claims that, like many others of his generation, the use of community mentoring is one reason he has recovered and is well on his way to building a six figure company. The name Resurgence has a poetic ring to it, all in all.
The advantages of these communities for this generation are that they can exchange ideas and seek the opinions of experienced members. They have increased collaboration versus competition, a key that seems to propel them to immense success beyond millennials.
Kings of disorder
If it’s not different, it’s not cool; This seems to be the mantra for Generation Z entrepreneurs. Everyone seems to be trying to reinvent the wheel or seriously disrupt the industry they are entering.
They took the idea of disruption much deeper than we expected. Caroline and Isabel Bercaw, co-founders of Da Bomb Bath, took the bath bomb industry by surprise when they launched their strange bath bomb product that contained a small toy. They were only 11 and 12 years old at this point (2012) and have grown that business into a massive self-financed company that generates over $ 20 million annually.
Disruption is in the DNA of this generation, and we can expect a greater deluge of creative ideas and businesses this decade.
Identity politics has been repeatedly condemned as evil and divisive in some areas, but Generation Z has found a way to apply the concept to businesses with significant impact.
Identity Entrepreneurship refers to branding your business and your business idea on a topic such as race, religion, or location. This has always been the case, but this new generation has brought it to the fore.
New Generation Z companies continue to brand themselves as Young Black Entrepreneurs (YBE) or Young Latino Entrepreneurs. Due to the strong impact of social media and the Internet as well as their skilful navigation skills, Generation Z has succeeded in achieving more powerful results with this identity entrepreneurship than generations before.
The effect is clear: it causes an influx of traffic from people who identify with the same affiliations. When done well, it’s pretty awesome!
In the past 5 to 10 years we’ve seen a lot of companies started by Gen Z members, but not many new platforms created. It seems to me that these young entrepreneurs can make good use of the platforms millennials and earlier generations created in the early internet age and build massive and expansive businesses.
Platforms like Facebook, Youtube, Google, Amazon, Instagram and the like have taken over the internet. They’re not getting serious competition from Generation Z’ers for obvious reasons. Still, these brilliant entrepreneurs have built some stunning businesses entirely on these platforms, and some have even built such expansive businesses that are connected through a number of these platforms.
See Also: Meet 12 Young Founders Who Are Disrupting Business
Entrepreneurs like 9-year-old Ryan Kaji from Ryan’s World, a Youtube channel that reportedly turns Youtube into about 22 million annually, are a good example.
On the other hand is Cheri Wang, CEO of Coshipper, who has successfully built one of the most expansive and successful Amazon FBA companies in the US, providing comprehensive services in the air, land and sea. Wang believes these platforms are the future of entrepreneurship, although he admits that this doesn’t make entrepreneurship easier these days as there are still massive obstacles.
The ability of this generation to build something massive on these platforms is a departure from many millennial entrepreneurs, who are still rather unproductively focused on trying to develop new platforms.
This fantastic generation is doing a lot of good and competing in some complicated industries and we’d love to see more. It’s always refreshing to watch evolution take place, and we can only follow trends when necessary.