- Nov 29, 2020
- Windows 7
- Firefox 72.0
How Gen Z is flipping the career paradigm on its head and navigating the entrepreneurial world independently. The data featured in this post is from an internal study, the "Small Business State of Mind" report, commissioned by Microsoft Corporation in April 2022 and conducted by Wakefield Research. In 2021 alone, Americans submitted over 5.4 million applicationshttps://blogs.windows.com/#_edn1 to start a new business. With the U.S. experiencing a small business boom, Gen Z, the generation known for bucking traditional paths, is shaping its future. They’re showing us their entirely unique perspective on work and success and shaking up the world as we know it with their social media prowess, value of self-expression and heightened social consciousness. With 62% of Gen Zers[ii] indicating they have started—or intend to start—their own business, Gen Z is making its mark poised to become the most entrepreneurial generation the world has seen. So, what does the state of small business look like today and how is Gen Z shaping this evolution? Microsoft Store’s "Small Business State of Mind" report—a survey of 1,000 small business owners with 0-24 employees—digs into the mindsets of today’s entrepreneurs to understand their work motives, lifestyles and vision for the future as they lead, navigate and plan for the opportunities and obstacles that lie ahead.
Key FindingsA look at five small business trends shaping entrepreneurship as we know it:
- 9-to-never. Gen Z small business owners are redefining the workplace hustle.
- The do-good effect. Small business owners investing in social good are seeing the benefits.
- Risky business. Small businesses are letting data breach prevention fall to the wayside.
- Road to retirement. Why is Gen Z set on small business ownership? Early retirement.
- TikTok over textbooks. Gen Z small business owners are leaning into TikTok for business advice while debating the necessity of a higher ed degree.
What’s next for small businesses?“It’s your local coffee shop, florist and barbershop you’ve been visiting for the past 10 years—it’s these small businesses that are driving our economy forward,” says Walter. “Small businesses [with fewer than 20 employees] make up 89% of all businesses in the U.S.[iv] Supporting these businesses is crucial, especially as they face no shortage of obstacles today.” Half (51%) of small business owners ranked inflation as the biggest threat to their businesses right now, followed by COVID concerns (21%) and supply chain shortages (18%). Despite that, a majority of small business owners (59%) surveyed are optimistic, expecting business growth in the next 12 months, including Gen Z (55%) and BIPOC (67%) small business owners. And they aren’t looking to trade in their “boss” title for a badge: 86% of small business owners stated they are more likely to keep their small business in favor of quitting and going to a corporate 9-to-5 job. The state of small business will continue to evolve as our world evolves, but what we can expect is for Gen Z and its entrepreneurial and non-traditional mindset to fuel the future of it. This is only the beginning. We invite small business owners to visit Microsoft Store’s Small Business Resource Center for free access to trainings, tools, products and business solutions to connect with teams, reach new customers, safeguard their businesses from data security threats and grow their businesses. https://blogs.windows.com/#_ednref1 (United States Census Bureau, 2022). https://www.census.gov/econ/bfs/index.html. [ii] Engine, W. (2020). Generation Influence: Reaching Gen Z in the New Digital Paradigm. [iii]Microsoft. (2022). This World Password Day consider ditching passwords altogether. [iv] Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council. (2019). American Business is Overwhelmingly Small Business.