Editor's Note: College Treps is a weekly column that puts the spotlight on college and graduate school-based entrepreneurs, as they tackle the tough task of starting up and going to school. Follow their daily struggles and this column on Twitter with the hashtag #CollegeTreps.
Businesses today… they don’t make them like they used to.
From app makers to online retailers, starting up today is easier than ever. Not only are there ample educational resources, networks and programs that can help launch an idea into a profitable business. These days, it’s also cheaper to get started. Think of it: You can launch a website for next to nothing and getting started in ecommerce is as easy as saying “Amazon.com” and “eBay.”
Pair this access to resources with a still weak job market and it’s little wonder why the millennial generation is rather relentless when it comes to starting up. But let’s be clear, today’s ventures -- even the brick-and-mortar ones -- aren’t like those of our parents’ generation. Here are five ways millennial entrepreneurs are different from previous generations’ founders and what effect that has on the companies they keep:
1. We’re Entrepreneurs. We really are. When we go work for a company that says it’s looking for entrepreneurial employees, we take that literally. We’re self-starters and have a deep-seated need to fix flaws. Unlike our parents, we won’t just accept negative aspects of our jobs and conform to what we’re told. We want to make the world a better place.
2. We want our companies to be both different and spectacular. Most millennials are aware that a company needs to be “different” in order to stand out from the competition and to appeal to consumers. However, we also know that we must not only be different, but also spectacular. We know that just being different isn’t good enough anymore. We want our companies to be brilliant in all aspects -- from branding and customer service to communications and advertising.
3. We are extremely connected -- and well informed. Millennials use Twitter and Facebook, and as a result, they’re constantly consuming up-to-the-second news, information and data. And since they’ve grown accustomed to the quick pace, they can hone in on specific trends, problems and stories that are disrupting and innovating market industries. We read. We really do.
4. We want to think globally. Yes, we want to support our local economy, but in the grand view of things, we want to eat dumplings in Shanghai or macarons in Paris while negotiating with prospective business accounts. We know that the global economy is becoming more consolidated everyday and we want to become apart of that. So please, provide us with a company that has an overall mission to launch globally. We don’t just want to be in a suburban strip mall, but also in an urban city center.
5. We want more. If we have jobs, or if we’re the employer, we don’t want to settle for average incentives. We want our place of work to be a collaborative environment where both employees and employers benefit from each other’s resources, network and talent.
What other qualities will help millennials stand out in the world of entrepreneurship? Let us know with a comment.
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The author is an Entrepreneur contributor. The opinions expressed are those of the writer.