Gen Z is making a splash. No, not because they have over $140 billion in spending power, nor because they make up 40% of global consumers. Yet because nearly half plan to become entrepreneurs and invent something world-changing. To acknowledge them, we put together this Gen Z guide to microentrepreneurship, where we show you exactly how young entrepreneurs are killin’ the game (and you can, too). Let their stories told and lessons learned be the fuel you need to finally take off this year 🚀
No matter the industry and no matter the product, these are the trends we’re seeing among all Gen Z microentrepreneurs. Act on them, and you’ll surely achieve the same success they’ve had – or more.
No more do freelancers have to pull each other’s (figurative) hair for the next client. Forget about working longer hours just to make ends meet. Say good riddance to companies that try to pay less for more. And say helloooo to the Passion Economy, or the Future of Work. It’s a new way for people to make money doing what they do best (a.k.a. their passions). They do what they want, when they want to grow their businesses and earn passive income while they’re at it. All while making the world a better place to live 🥰🌎
That’s exactly what Kevad Belle Saarepera and Anna Kriger did, the young co-founders of Not Your Average Co. They were a bit disappointed in coffee, a drink that gives people the jitters and a caffeine crash at best. So, they combined their love and passion for superfoods and coffee into, you guessed it, superfood coffees. They’re healthier, antioxidant-rich, and give drinkers lasting energy so they can still indulge in that morning roast without dreading the pre-lunch slouch. Wanna do just like Kevad and Anna, making money while pursuing your passions? Awesome. But before you start, do a reality check.
Is your passion project meant to be a business? Answering three questions will help:
There is power in numbers. And young entrepreneurs are realizing this. As a matter of fact, 62% of Gen Zers and millennials believe brands have the power to create communities based on common interests and passions.
As 2021 keeps going, we see that Gen Z is extremely vested in brands with tribes in which they belong. Apple, Nike, Bath & Body Works, Pizza Hut, Marvel, Google… Love ‘em or hate ‘em, you gotta admit, they make you feel some kind of way. Also, even though Gen Z is the most connected digitally, they’re the loneliest generation. And almost 50% of Gen Zers find refuge in sharing their feelings of sadness and loneliness.
Which is exactly how the Real Gen Z Microentrepreneur Demetrius Harmon built his tribe. He’s extremely open with his followers about his mental health struggles. So much so that his self-harm mantra is everywhere you find him: Although I feel weak, I know I am strong. He put together a Community Meet-Up series to create a safe space without judgement, bringing his fans together in real-time.
You can do the same, too, (for your own brand, that is). Think of some unique (COVID-friendly) ways members can connect over shared interests, like:
For obvious reasons… Among them being, they’re just more natural. In the same way, Gen Z knows brands need to step up. Those eyes on the other side of the screen aren’t just living, breathing wallets. Consumers can be your best, creativity-throbbing brand advocates. The most successful Gen Z microentrepreneurs have grabbed onto this trend already.
Take Jemima Firth, founder of the Depop shop Alerria Jewelery. Take one look at Alerria’s Insta, and you’ll see UGC in action. Consumers of all ages flaunt her vibrant resin rings, fruit-themed rings, and eye-catching bauble bands like there was no tomorrow. Including some cute (non-UGC) pics of her little brother.
Wanna get the same results but not sure how? Here are 5 ways to encourage user-generated content on social media:
And if that’s not enough for you, here’s an ultimate guide to user-generated content.
It’s not enough to have an idea, create the products, launch it, and be done. The name of the game is to create, observe, and tweak. Your product should always be evolving, just like the audience.
This is exactly what Gen Z microentrepreneur Maxine Marcus does with her business, The Ambassadors Company. She was just a sophomore in high school when she saw the huge earning potential from Gen Z, yet noticed the gap between brands and teens. So, she bridged it by creating a network of Ambassadors that would give clients direct and honest feedback on products, ideas, and marketing strategies. And not just flying by the seat of their pants, yet by actually testing them into their everyday lives.
“I founded AmbassCo after noticing the stark gap between business executives and Gen-Z, and I felt like I had the solution to solve this problem,” Maxine told Forbes.
“Part of what has made me good at this is that I listen to my friends and their ideas. That’s what’s so cool about this to me… we are just creating an open conversation.”
Get your product out there to test its validity. Here are ways to do so if you don’t have your own Ambassador network:
Those who take note of and act on emerging trends will get the worm. Keyword: ACT.
Thinking about them won’t get you anywhere. (Unsurprisingly, this point is one of the six timeless strategies that drive successful entrepreneurship.)
Anyways, this is exactly what one of our featured Gen Z microentrepreneurs, Siddh Akolia, did. He pivoted from sneaker reselling to sports card trading when he got a smart tip that that’s where the industry was going during the pandemic. And by doing so, he raked in $30,000 in less than a year. We mentioned this happened in the heat of COVID, right?
Follow the footsteps of these young micorentrepreneurs, and you’ll be smashing new biz ventures in no time. But, you know us, and you know we like to give you more than what you’ve asked for. So, here are some additional tips for success:
Look at you making it to the end!
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