So, do you think you know Generation Z? Well think again - meet The Gen-erators Z: They are Self-Starters, not just Selfie-Takers

So, do you think you know Generation Z? Well think again - meet The Gen-erators Z: They are Self-Starters, not just Selfie-Takers

I've always been intrigued about what makes young people tick, so was great to see so much hype around a new Gen-erators Z report released this week.

The research piece was commissioned by Lucozade Energy, and discovered the UK's youth are a pioneering generation of self-driven entrepreneurs, despite the uphill struggle they face with securing a job after education.

This youth report discovers today's 16 to 25-year-olds are aspirational creators. (Great news for the future of British business, maybe!) In fact, a few key findings:

  • Three in five young people want to run their own business
  • "Freedom to achieve my goals" is valued more highly than money
  • But, two in five young people place "failure" as their biggest fear

The report reveals that over half (62%) are interested in working for themselves or creating their own brand. The aptly named Gen-erators Z are a group of young people who have grown up in a world where technology exploded, making it more possible than ever for them to do what they want to; from publishing their own book, to being able to sell their products direct to consumers, they are now able to realise their dreams more than ever.

Hamish Stephenson, an 18 year-old filmmaker who chose to 'invent' his own career by making money from his passions, comments: "I have the attitude that I can do it, and nothing will stop me. Why not just do what you want to do, and what you are passionate about, instead of being stressed that you might not have enough money in the future, or you might not have a job."

This emerging tribe of self-starters has clearly not developed without a catalyst; growing up in austerity Britain could be attributed to this rise in entrepreneurial spirit according to Lucozade Energy's report. Nearly three quarters (71%) admit to feeling under pressure because it is harder than ever to get a job and more than three in five (69%) feel they are under more pressure than their parents were at their age.

This sense of pressure can also be seen when considering young people's biggest fears; almost two in five (38%) admit that failure is their biggest fear and 17% state that not having the energy or time to follow their passions and dreams would be the worst thing that could happen to them. It is clear that they are putting themselves under immense pressure to succeed on their own terms and they really want to make the most of every moment.

Bejay Mulenga: copyright Christopher Waggott, Common Works

Bejay Mulenga, a 20 year-old entrepreneur from London says, "My main goal is to keep on striving forward and to keep on being as efficient as I am now...anything I put my mind to, I just go out and get it. You don't always get what you want, but if you put the work in, you kind of get it."

This desire for career freedom amongst 16-25 year-olds could be seen as a rebellion against the restricting 'job for life' concept prevalent in their parents' era. When given a list of 20 choices of life dreams, including making my parents proud (17%), owning my own home (22%) or earning good money (21%), the most popular aspiration was 'to be able to live the life I want and have the money and freedom to achieve goals' (29%). This ranked much higher than living debt-free (11%), which was significantly lower.

Ed Hardy: copyright Christopher Waggott, Common Works

Ed Hardy, 17 year-old founder of telecoms start-up Edge Mobile, believes it is all about prioritising happiness over boosting your bank balance: "Often people assume that if you're a young entrepreneur you're out for money. I think, actually, there is a change and money is no longer so important. Actually, happiness and doing a career that you enjoy (is) really fulfilling for you personally; it's just so much more important now."

The full report is available to download here >>

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