The world is adapting to an entirely different kind of workforce. What can we learn from millennial entrepreneurs and their approach to work, and how do we hire, engage, and do business with our next generation of leaders?
Young entrepreneurs are driven by a desire for independence, a belief in social good and a commitment to employee happiness. Sage’s Walk with Me report, closely examines the key characteristics, attitudes and behaviours of millennial entrepreneurs around the world.
Despite sweeping generalisations about how this generation behaves, the study shows that these business leaders have diverse traits which align them with five workplace personality types:
More general trends from the study include a desire to make a difference. Doing social good is especially important to young entrepreneurs in South Africa (80%) and Brazil (81%) compared to other countries.
Respondents in Switzerland (24%), Australia (20%) and France (19%) say employee happiness is what gets them out of bed in the morning, while 34% say they started their own business in order to be master of their own destiny.
Key findings from the study:
Kriti Sharma, Director, Product Management – Mobile, Sage, explains, “As a millennial entrepreneur myself I know first-hand that this business group are shaking things up. We’re rejecting established patterns of working and making technology work for us. We see business through a new lens. We’re willing to work hard, but want flexibility in how, when and with whom we do business.”
“Millennial entrepreneurs have a huge role to play in the start-up economy and are shaping the modern workplace at great pace,” explains Stephen Kelly, CEO, Sage.
“But they can’t be grouped together as a homogenous stereotype. Our research shows that they fall into distinct camps with specific hopes, fears, concerns and ways of working. They will be our next generation of business builders, the heroes of the economy, and understanding what makes them tick now stands us all in good stead for the future. That’s true of the people that want to do business with them, buy from them, hire them or create policy that helps them to grow.”
Entrepreneurs of this generation start their own business for three key reasons; a desire to be master of their own lives, to turn their ideas into a reality and to make money. Being their own boss is particularly important to those living in Brazil (46%), the USA (40%), Portugal (40%), France (38%) and the UK (36%).
Millennials don’t just want to be successful; they want their work to be fulfilling too. They see working for themselves as a way to stay true to their values; over a third say they started their own business so they could be master of their own identity.
Forty-three percent of millennial entrepreneurs say they find bureaucracy demotivating, with those in Brazil and Poland finding this particularly difficult. Meanwhile, 36% of those surveyed, most notably in Singapore (46%), South Africa (43%), Spain (44%), and Australia (43%), say receiving late payment and worrying about cash flow is disheartening.
One of the ways that governments across the globe can support these entrepreneurs is by minimizing their challenges. Small businesses need government support to reach their full potential, which will also significantly benefit the wider economy.
This generation of entrepreneurs want to build a culture of innovation. They’ve grown up with the technology at their fingertips to make processes efficient and allow instant access to real-time information, whenever and wherever they are. They are therefore less accepting of outdated practices that slow things down and hold them back. Let’s help them to really fly.
Image credit: information-age.com