Young Entrepreneurs are Making Their Mark
Energy, enthusiasm, risk taking, youth — these qualities tend to go together. That’s not to say that those of us over age 40 aren’t energic and enthusiastic, but there is something to be said for young entrepreneurs. And, what better place to be an entrepreneur than Saskatchewan?
The “millennipreneurs” are here
In 2016, Fortune.com introduced the term “millennipreneurs” to describe the next up-and-coming generation of young entrepreneurs. While the name is a bit of a tongue twister, it’s true that individuals born between 1981 and 2000 are starting more companies, managing more employees and aiming for higher profits than the baby boomers before them (no mention is made of the smaller Generation X cohort in between the two).
According to Fortune.com, tech-oriented millennials are also discovering entrepreneurship much earlier in their lives than the baby boomers did. While the older generation launched their first businesses at roughly 35 years old, millennipreneurs are getting their toes wet around age 27. Those extra years allow for more creativity, more exploration and more risk-taking.
Why not here?
Launched in January 2018, Audacity YQR is an entrepreneurial community strategy created by Economic Development Regina Inc. (EDR) and supported by the leadership of the Council for Entrepreneurship Growth. The Council is a volunteer group of successful Regina-based entrepreneurs providing their time, energy and expertise — in part to support the next generation of entrepreneurs.
As President and CEO of EDR, John D. Lee heads the economic development agency for the Greater Regina Area. “Regina is characterized as a government town, which is a good thing, however we also have 27,000 small businesses operating here. The city is not usually seen as an entrepreneurial community, but it definitely is and these exciting stories need to be told. Through Audacity YQR we can raise awareness and share these stories,” says John.
Powering the economy
According to the report Entrepreneurs Powering the Greater Regina Area published by EDR, small businesses comprise more than 95 per cent of all businesses operating in Saskatchewan. For this reason, Regina aims to compete with similar North American cities in nurturing, attracting and retaining young entrepreneurs and their businesses. In turn, this activity creates jobs and contributes to the overall economy.
In 2017 Forbes.com published the article Why female millennipreneurs succeed in business. The article describes how female, and millennial, leadership is characterized by inclusiveness. Young female leaders tend to demonstrate a team-building leadership style that promotes group problem solving and decision making.
Forbes.com states that millennial women reported higher revenues than the rest of their gender. While women in general reported revenues nine per cent above the average, for female millennipreneurs revenues were an amazing 22 per cent higher.
According to the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC), millennials — combined with members of Generation Z born after 2000 — will account for half of the Canadian workforce by 2020.
Why is entrepreneurship so appealing to these young people? The BDC report Future-proof your business: Adapting to technology and demographic trends addresses some of these questions.
According to the BDC, “Millennials have different work expectations than their predecessors. They value a good work-life balance, flexible working arrangements (remote work, flexible hours), professional development and a sense of purpose to their work, among other things.” Luckily, entrepreneurship is often a better fit with these expectations than a typical 9-to-5 desk job.
Lindsay Kinvig of Ask Lindsay, Kyle Parker of K2 Electric, Meranda Kokoski of Studio Skin Restoration and Eric Urzada of uBreakiFix are young entrepreneurs creating exciting businesses in our province. Enjoy reading all about them on the following pages.
By Elizabeth Ireland