Although Millennials are sometimes plagued by negative professional traits and stereotypes, there are specific characteristics of young professionals that make them great candidates for small business ownership. In fact, entrepreneurship is particularly enticing to Millennials, who increasingly forgo more traditional career paths in favor of transforming new ideas and dreams into thriving small businesses and startups.
So what exactly draws Millennials to small business ownership and helps them thrive among the challenges of entrepreneurship?
Millennials Are Risk-Taking Optimists
Young professionals are much more willing to take a risk on what may seem to be a lofty goal or dream. Not only are Millennials eager to take risks, they’re more optimistic that they’ll succeed. While other generations may plan endeavors around their education levels or years of professional experience, Millennials aren’t afraid to jump into the deep end of entrepreneurship and build their own business.
What’s also interesting is the age in which different generations start their businesses. Baby boomers launched their small businesses at an average age of 35 while Millennials are starting their own businesses at the average age of 27 (according to 2016 BNP Paribas Global Entrepreneur Report).
They’re Extremely Tech Savvy
While 20 and 30-something professionals are more fearless than their baby boomer predecessors when it comes to starting a small business, they’re aided by unprecedented tech savviness. While it is easier to start a small business than it may have been in the past, Millennials are taking advantage of their knowledge of technology and using it to build, market and grow efficient businesses at younger ages.
Millennials are Not Afraid of a Little Debt
Despite the financial caution of generations preceding Millennials, young professionals are not afraid of small business loans, credit card debt and crowdfunding as a means of financially powering their ideas and dreams. In addition, they’re increasingly reliant on mobile banking and technology to keep up with their busy, technology heavy lifestyles while looking to their communities for support.
Millennial Local Business Endeavors Are Personal
Young professionals are more interested in frequenting other small businesses and local establishments in contrast with nationwide chains. In the past ten years, farmer’s markets have more than doubled, while traditional (national) grocers have lost 15 percent. This paradigm shift has been driven in part by the purchasing habits of Millennials and cultural shifts. Although Gen X and Gen Y love supporting local businesses for feel good reasons, they also love the customized, personal service they receive on a local level.
As supporters of local community banks, independent shops and restaurants, Millennials understand and are attracted to the unique comradery of small businesses and their role in serving the economic needs of the local community. This, in turn, drives their increasing interest in serving their neighborhoods on a local level as small business owners themselves.
As the holiday season approaches, it’s more important than ever to support the local businesses that help make our communities great! Do you love supporting your local community by shopping, dining and banking locally? Make a quick video telling us why you love your community bank and send it to Carissa.email@example.com or @ICBA on Twitter using the hashtag #ILoveMyCommunityBank.