Generation Z yearns for flexibility and purpose at work. That’s why many of them are striking out on their own.
New research from ZenBusiness, an Austin, TX, platform that helps people launch and manage their own businesses, recently released a study showing that 93% of Gen Zers "have taken a step toward exploring business ownership."
The study, which surveyed 1,000 Gen Zers aged 18 to 25, also showed that 84 percent of them selected entrepreneurship as the most exciting of 12 career paths, and that 75 percent ultimately want to become entrepreneurs.
The study also offers insights into Gen Z’s discontent with traditional work.
"They may just say, ‘I want a healthier, more prosperous or flexible work environment. And since you older folks aren't going to create that for me in our formal structures that we have. I'm just going to create it for myself,'" said Dr. Corey Seemiller, author of several books on Gen Z, who was not affiliated with the study.
She added: "That mindset is very, very novel compared to the last several generations – all the way back into probably the 1930s is the last time we've seen this kind of movement, this entrepreneurial spirit at this great rate."
About 72 percent of those surveyed said that "traditional career paths that were open to their parents are no longer open to them." Another 86 percent said they could "no longer rely on the same old strategies to get ahead" in their careers. And 90% said they wanted "to create something new and better for the world."
The study also suggested that Gen Z might be more inclined to starting businesses because they see the world differently. Over half of the Gen Zers surveyed describe themselves as neurodiverse, and 82 percent of Zoomers surveyed believe that such folks are better suited for entrepreneurship than a traditional career.
The popularity of social media among Gen Z also mirrors the explosive growth of content creation.
The survey found that 84% of Gen Zers rank "creator" as the most accessible or feasible career at (with entrepreneurship close behind at 78%) Social media has "created this class of entrepreneurs called creators," said Michael Fanuele SVP of Brand & Strategy, at ZenBusiness. "People quickly realize that as you start producing content, and as you start getting paid, you've just become a business."
In addition, the survey spotlighted Zoomers' confidence in their entrepreneurial ability. About 80 percent say their generation "has better skills for pursuing entrepreneurship than their parents' generation," and the same number said their generation was "primed to be the most entrepreneurial in history."
Such confidence likely stems from social media and tech, which Fanuele said gives Zoomers the edge when it comes to entrepreneurship. The study showed that 69% of Gen Zers have learned about entrepreneurship through "videos or self-directed research."
Seemiller said Gen Zers may draw much of their inspiration and confidence from their parents, who also have an entrepreneurial inclination.
"I have a side hustle, my brother has a side hustle, almost every Gen X right now has a side hustle and you know what our kids are saying, I want one of those too," she said. "And so these are all these factors that are coming together that are priming the pump for this generation to say this is completely feasible."
Dylan Croll is a Yahoo Finance reporter.