There once was a time that any aspiring graduate’s main ambition was to get on the so-called “milk round” and secure a job at a big firm with good prospects of career advancement. Typically, they headed for accountancy or law firms, the Civil Service, or even the BBC. But it seems like times have changed and more and more millennials have decided that being the masters or mistresses of their own destiny is the way to go.
In research carried out by Idinvest Partners, an incredible 76% of people between the ages of 18 and 24 want to start their own business, with 70% of 25 to 34-year-olds sharing the same ambitions. Not surprisingly, the figures gradually decline as the age groups grow older, possibly because the drive and ambition aren’t there or maybe the respondents have already become well-established in their careers.
When questioned about their motivation for wanting to go it alone, the most common reason was financial success, and it’s certainly true that this can come very quickly. For example, the worldwide lottery site Lottoland has grown from a start-up in 2013 to become a major player in a very competitive field.
The second most popular reason for people wanting to start their own business, with 47% citing it as a main influencer, is increased freedom and independence. This is reflective of the increased confidence that the generation coming through has that they’ll be great at going it alone.
There are certainly plenty of examples in London with Shoreditch and Hackney being something of an epicentre for the capital’s enterprise culture, according to Time Out at least. These also cover a wide range of sectors from doughnut shops and the infamous cereal café, to web developers and other tech firms.
And it seems like more and more people are doing it. In figures released by accountancy firm Moore Stephens in late 2017, there were 311,550 company directors recorded to be under the age of 30, increased from the 295,890 who were registered in 2015.
Many people believe that what started the trend was the fallout from the financial crisis of 2008/9. Following the calamitous events which shook even the biggest institutions, hiring was slashed and opportunities were few and far between.
But, in the serendipitous way that some things occasionally come together, the advance of technology and social media was also continuing apace which made it easier than ever to start a business. This also made it easier to spread the word in a way that would just not have been possible previously.
A few years later, with the introduction of crowdfunding and other alternative sources of funding, raising the capital needed to start a business is also now more straightforward than ever before.
It all adds up to the perfect conditions for anyone with some entrepreneurial zeal to give staring their business a go with just a laptop, a mobile phone, and perhaps even some gumption needed to see them on their way.