The Gen Z Guide to Microentrepreneurship: How Young Entrepreneurs Are Killin' The Game (And You Can, Too)
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.
(Those who already have? #winning 🙌🏽)
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 🚀
Without further delay, let’s scroooooooooll.
How Young Entrepreneurs Are Killin’ The Game (And You Can, Too)
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 👍🏽
They’re Building Passion Projects
🥊 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?
But before you start, do a reality check.
Is your passion project meant to be a business? Answering three questions will help:
💔 Are you prepared to fall out of love? Businesses take effort to build. When you’re burned out and stressed, is this something you’ll realistically continue? If not, think twice. (Some things just aren’t meant to be…)
🤔 Are you filling a gap or solving a problem? Looking at the bigger picture, how will you change the world? Is your idea innovative? Having a solution to a (niche) problem will keep you from blending in.
🗓 Will it be relevant 10 years from now? Things come and go. There are fads. For example, imagine how much of a fail a video marketing biz whose go-to creators were Gangnam Style dancers would be these days. Nuff said.
They Speak To Their Communities
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 (now via Zoom) 👩🏽💻
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:
🍸 Hosting happy hours
🎸 Throwing digital concerts
🎤 Doing Ask Me Anything (AMA) sessions – especially if you’re an industry expert
Young Entrepreneurs LOVE User-Generated Content (UGC)
85% of users find UGC more persuasive than brand photos and videos.
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 🤩
Give a teen a smartphone and an internet connection, and they’ll create on-brand magic sure to attract hordes of others just like ‘em 🧲
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:
🐝 Create buzz around your brand, like Coca-Cola did with putting names on bottles
✅ Run contents and quizzes on social
#️ Leverage the power of hashtags
🥇 Offer prizes and rewards
🙋🏽♀️ Ask questions
And if that’s not enough for you, here’s an ultimate guide to user-generated content.
Gen Z Is Constantly Testing Their Products
❌ 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 theminto 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.”
Lesson learned? Get your product out there to test its validity.
Here are ways to do so if you don’t have your own Ambassador network:
👩🏽🦱 Try it out with friends and family
📱 Offer free sessions, samples, etc. to followers on social
📧 If you have an email list, offer it to subscribers
In The Same Light, They Capitalize on Emerging Trends
Those who take note of and act on emerging trends will get the worm 🪱
🔑 word: ACT
Thinking about them (never have and) 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 ‘rona, right? 😁
Read up on his story here 👉🏽 Real Gen Z Microentrepreneur: Siddh Akolia.
Also, if you need some help trying to figure out which trends are worth the effort and how to navigate them for heightened success, we got your back.
The answers are in our blog 👉🏽 The Future Of Small Business: How This Year Will Transform Small Businesses As We Know Them.
Again, you’re welcome.
The Gen Z Guide to Microentrepeneurship: 2021 and Beyond
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:
📝 Have a strategy. How will you get to where you want to go? What’s your long-term vision? For example, if you’ve been freelancing for a couple years now, maybe it’s time to take the next step. [😉👉🏽The First Year: A Comprehensive Guide To The First Year Of Your New Small Business (Part 1 Of 2)]
💪🏽 Believe in yourself. We’ll save you the long-winded sappy pep talk that we KNOW we’ve put you through before and just say this: If you don’t believe in yourself, who will? Know deep down in your heart that you have everything you need to make your dreams come true.
🤗 Seek help when needed. At the same time, you’re only human, and you can’t grow 5 extra arms and another brain to power everything that needs to get done. Whether it’s outsourcing boring accounting work to a third party or hiring a virtual assistant, a lighter workload may look good on you.
✨ Choose a team that aligns with you. Yes, outsource work where possible, but be sure team members share the same values, mission, and vision as you. Consider doing a test run or trial period to make sure things vibe how you want.
🌹 Enjoy the process. How many times in your lifetime will you build a business from scratch? If you’re most people, the answer is a big fat goose egg 🥚 (zero… the answer is zero). Hate to be cliché here, but don’t be too focused on the end goal that you forget to stop and smell the roses. It’s a beautiful experiene. Indulge in the ups and downs every step of the way.
Look at you making it to the end!
Wi-fi high five ✋🏽
Now that we’ve made it this far, there’s just one thing left…
Get early access to Boost! You’ll get access to resources to help you launch and run your side hustle successfully (and they’re even more 💣 than this blog, believe it or not).