How to Feel Like an Entrepreneur Without Risking a Thing

Today Ypulse staffer Phil Savarese takes us through the growing category of online services that are allowing Millennials to feel like the entrepreneurs they want to be, without the investments and risks they can’t afford to make.

 No Risk(y) Business

Millennials have been viewed as extremely entrepreneurial. Their non-traditional approach to achieving their career aspirations leads many to view them as an entire group of future Zuckerbergs. And though they might aspire to be, Millennials are also a risk-averse generation. Witnessing their parents make risky (and sometimes irresponsible) financial decisions as the economy began to fail has affected them greatly. Often called the children of the recession, they are well aware of the importance in being financially responsible. As one 24-year-old Gen Y told us, “My generation has learned [not to] take financial risks. Play it safe and save.” Ypulse’s research has found that 46% of Millennials 14-to-29-years-old would rather have stability working for a larger company than risk losing their own money to start a business. At the same time, 81% admire those who do start their own companies. Clearly, there is a tension between their appreciation for the entrepreneurial spirit and their recently validated fear of losing what little money some have managed to make. The problem lies in who is willing to take that big jump and invest all they have into their idea.

Enter the age of the no-risk entrepreneur. Online retail tools are providing an increasing number of ways for Gen Ys to feel like they are starting a business, without any of the traditional burdens and dangers. Here are three services currently offering viable outlets for the risk-averse Millennial entrepreneur to satisfy their urge for self-made success. 

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The Newsfeed

“I honestly wouldn't like to communicate with brands, unless it is to solve problems their brand is causing.”—Female, 27, MI

Why don’t people seem to care as much about fake followers on Instagram as on other platforms? Because while Facebook and Twitter are bashed for feeds full of fake news, no one holds Instagram to the same standard. The image-centric platform is inherently “a hyperreality,” where no one’s candid shot is truly spontaneous, and photo-shop freely fills feeds. Where does it get tricky? With Influencers, who are expected to garner true engagements for brands. (Real Life)

Influencer marketing faced another tricky situation this week when PopSugar replaced influencers’ affiliate links with their own. RewardStyle and its Instagram product LikeToKnow.it’s network of content creators’ photos and sometimes entire feeds “were copied to the site via “thousands of ‘falsified vanity pages’ containing millions of images belonging to the network’s content creators.” The group is planning on seeking a class-action lawsuit on their intellectual property and for the lost revenue that PopSugar made each time a customer clicked to purchase. (Racked)

Colleges are giving out more merit-based aid to win over top students. Tuition discount rates have risen to a record 49.1% for first-time, full-time freshman attending private universities, up over 10% from ten years prior—according to the National Association of College and University Business Officers. By using data-driven analysis to calculate just how much aid is likely to lure a top student in, colleges are seeing success upping their prestige. However, the practice has also “created a closing of the doors for low-income students,” according to one policy analyst. (WSJ)

Apple is betting that young consumers could bring back magazines via a magazine subscription service. The tech company took a gamble by buying Texture, a subscription service for over 200 titles that’s been dubbed the “Netflix of Magazine Publishing.” The app aggregates articles into a single browsing experience, rather than being separated by title, and pays the included publications. Apple has announced plans to integrate the service into their Apple News app, the latest incarnation of their less-than-successful Newsstand app. (Bloomberg)

Function of Beauty is customizing hair care, blending up shampoo and conditioner for each customer based off a five-question quiz. Beauty companies big and small have hopped on the Customization Nation trend, and Function of Beauty takes that to the next level with their hyper-personalized hair care set. They're customizing everything from the fragrance to the chemical components, and even going so far as to print the purchaser’s name on each product. The founder explains, "Every single person is unique and different...why negate that instead of catering to it?" (Paper)

“[Allison Raskin] is open about her struggles with mental health, and she is also funny.”—Female, 19, CA

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