Will Gen Z Take The Lead On Entrepreneurship? (infographic)

For the last 20 years, class after class of college graduates have embarked on a journey no one could have prepared them for: navigating a stagnating job market while saddled with massive, burdensome student loan debt. As the younger generations have watched their immediate elders struggle to gain any sort of foothold into adulthood while simultaneously being blamed for killing every industry from real estate to canned tuna, they plotted and planned a way to eschew the cultural standards to instead blaze their own paths. Gen Z is shaping up to be one of the most entrepreneurial generations in history largely as a reaction to watching previous generations struggle.

Student Loan Debt Is An Unsustainable Bubble

The amount of student loan debt carried by Americans is staggering - $1.4 TRILLION worth of staggering carried by 44 million people. The cost of college tuition, books, and fees has skyrocketed in the last few decades, putting college out of reach for many. In response to these hard economic facts, 70% of Gen Zers say that student loan debt will make it too difficult for them to save for other things, and they plan to avoid taking on student loan debt at all costs. Gen Zers plans include:
  • 76% already work to earn their own money
  • 38% plan to work during college to defray costs
  • 24% plan to pay for college through personal savings
  • 21% of Gen Zers had a savings account before age 10

The Job Market Isn’t Helping The Situation

Although unemployment is low, 1 in 20 recent college graduates report being unable to find a job, while 1 in 10 report being underemployed. Many are turning to side gigs to make ends meet, and that is leading to a desire to blaze their own trails. As a result, nearly half of Gen Zers plan to become entrepreneurs, with 41% saying they plan to start their own businesses and 45% saying they plan to invent something that will change the world. What’s more, by 2027 the majority of the U.S. workforce will be freelancers by some estimates.
Related: Will Generation Z Benefit From Our Mistakes? (infographic)

What Does Gen Z Value In A Job?

Gen Z places values over all else when looking for a job. They value social connections over work/life balance, understanding that the lines between your work life and your personal life are becoming ever so much more blurred. They value great day-to-day experiences over benefits, not seeing a use for a life insurance policy if they aren’t going to stay with an abusive employer anyway.

They also seek out mentors, and thanks to social media, podcasts, and more, they have greater access to mentors in their fields than ever before. They want to be inspired and to inspire, and they aren’t going to settle for less than that.

Gen Z Is Already Producing Some Great Entrepreneurs

You don’t have to be a college graduate to follow your dreams. Ryan from RyanToysReview in YouTube is a 8 year old who reviews toys for his nearly 18 million followers - and who has become Forbes’ number one highest paid YouTuber. Similarly, Moziah Bridges launched his bow tie collection when he was 9 years old and was the youngest entrepreneur ever to appear on Shark Tank, and by 2017 he had signed a deal with the NBA to create bow ties for each NBA team. While, Tiffany Zhong skipped college and used Twitter to build a network of venture capitalists, which helped her to start Zebra Intelligence.

Many companies offer pre-college learning opportunities, and with the wealth of information available online there’s no reason to wait to learn something new or to take a new path. Learn more about why Gen Z is so entrepreneurial from this infographic!

Doing It Their Way: Gen Z And Entrepreneurship - infographic
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