The Millennial Entrepreneur
Today’s difference-makers are driven by social progress and being advocates for those in need, not by profitability or power. The problem is, there are fewer of us than there were before.
The year is 2018 and our world is becoming more driven by computerisation, automation, and connectivity every day. This means that consumers, employees, and disruptors who were once at the mercy of the autocracy of big business now have access to information at the snap of a finger and are well enough informed to have completely flipped the script.
Business is now at the mercy of the consumers, employees, and disruptors. This has changed the way that business must shape itself in order to thrive. For instance, during the same-sex marriage campaign and plebiscite in Australia, businesses were pressured by societal movements to have a stance on the issue and, yet, those who did have a stance were often boycotted by those who took a differing view. Business is more responsive than ever. It follows that, more and more, business is involved in feel-good movements, charitable causes and the fastest development of technology our world has perhaps ever seen. It is within this sphere that us "Millennials" (whatever that means) have the capacity to build something for ourselves and for others that really makes a difference, with a greater focus on social enterprise now than ever before.
In 2016 John Lettieri, co-founder of the Economic Innovation Group, stated that this generation is “on track to be the least entrepreneurial generation in recent history.” Some, including Lettieri, attribute this in part to more debt and a lower inclination in today’s millennials to take a risk. And this is a real issue. The answer? Social entrepreneurialism.
Social entrepreneurs are those who seek to appeal to the changing attitudes in relation to business are typically people who dare to change the world and have a vision more grand than merely creating a business. Pioneering change to fight injustice, disease, and growing environmental change is no small feat. It requires a special kind of mindset. And the beauty is that it is merely that: a mindset. You don’t need to have some special ability, or great intellect or technical skills; you simply need the mindset to want to go out and make a lasting difference; a difference in more than a "day-to-day" sense.
Don't get me wrong, though. Making a difference in a "day-to-day" sense is still vital and, after all, central to what all good social entrepreneurs will be seeking to achieve. It is the affecting of small change over great numbers of people each and every day which is the key motivator for those who dare to change the world: Create enough of a "day-to-day" difference to make a difference that will outlive your ideas. Our ideas are what drives us forward; what helps us progress as a collective and, ultimately, are the seed which allows the growth of our social enterprises aimed at creating a lasting difference.
Millennials have the greatest opportunity to engage with and capitalise on this market space. We are constantly engaged with technology, we are increasingly aware of ever-growing social, political, and environmental issues that our world faces, we are equipped with the tools to set a foundation and, in a world as connected as ours, we have access to all the information and resources we could dream of.
I write this not to boast about how much better social entrepreneurs are than other entrepreneurs. All entrepreneurialism is essential to our prosperity and progress. I merely seek to inspire some passion amongst those who see themselves as difference makers to go out and make a difference. All you need is a mindset. Our mind is a powerful, powerful phenomenon, capable of changing the world. The Millennial entrepreneur is at the fore of the list of people capable of changing the world, and yet we’re falling behind generations preceding our own. Now is as good a time as ever to follow your own journey, blaze your own trail, and make the world a better place for us all.