You're probably aware that social researchers categorize generations with names such as "baby boomers," who were born roughly between the end of World War II through 1966, "Generation X" for people born from 1967 to 1981 and "Generation Y" for the computer age crowd born between 1982 and 1993. Everyone born in the internet age from 1994 through 2010 is part of "Generation Z." It is this latter group that has huge opportunities to become the most entrepreneurial-driven generation of all time.
Gen Z kids are in a position to advance as entrepreneurs for the same reason baby boomers were likely to be addicted to television or radio. They were born into an era of technology that shaped their environment. Gen Y saw the arrival of the computer revolution, but was also caught up in pop culture entertainment that consumed a lot of leisure time. Gen Z is more concerned with self-education than absorbing passive media.
Inspired by young CEOs like Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook, high school and college students are now motivated to pursue self-employment. A recent survey found that 72 percent of high school students, as well as 64 percent of college students, are interested in running their own business. Most of these students say they would rather be self-employed than work for an employer.
Gen Z has more available technology to work with than previous generations, which gives them many advantages. For one thing, their learning curve has been accelerated by online classes and access to free information. You can now read books online and interact with mentors through social media. Even students from low-income families can now get low cost training or grants that weren't available to their parents, who are pressuring them to get jobs during high school, influencing a more independent spirit.
Big companies like Microsoft and higher education institutions like Columbia University are also targeting high schools to offer hands on work experience. Since Gen Z is more tech-savvy than their parents, they are developing valuable skills at a much earlier age and are more prepared for business.