A study from the Kenan-Flagler Business School gives us extensive insight about millennials along with some analysis by Matt Miller, a Forbes contributor (“Why You Should Be Hiring Millennials [Infographic]” 7/3/12). From that study, we learn millennials are extremely serious about the importance of entrepreneurship. For example, in addition to their main jobs, 35% of them have already started a side business. Moreover, who says you have to wait to have a regular job to start a side business? It turns out 30% of them started a business while still earning their college degrees.
I have blogged about colleges revamping their curricula to meet the growing demand for entrepreneurial education (“Colleges with an Entrepreneurship Kick,” blog.reliableinsights.com, 10/25/12). Millennials strongly endorse this new academic paradigm. The study shows 92% of 21- to 24-year-olds believe entrepreneurship education is vital in our new economy and job market.
Now I realize some might look at these statistics and dismiss it all as youthful idealism. I am sure some element of that unavoidably exists. Nevertheless, in my observations of and encounters with this latest crop of millennial entrepreneurs, I say, go for it! The old adage is true: Aim for the stars and you might hit the moon. But oh, won’t that be dandy?
The flip side of that is I am encouraged to know millennials recognize the value and the opportunity of entrepreneurship—so much so they believe incorporating it into our academic programs is vital. In that sense, they are realists. Let’s face it—every successful entrepreneur is one less unemployed person. In today’s economy, I think we will take that!