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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Millennial News Feed

Quote of the Day: “I love the Amazon app because I can look up products that I want to buy and store them very easily. I also can scan barcodes while I'm in the store to check for the best price and if I want it, I can click one button to purchase it online instead of paying more for it in a store.” – Female, 29, FL

Millennials might be taking over the office, but their ink is still not totally welcome. According to Pew Research, 40% of Millennials have at least one tattoo, and 70% of the tattooed members of the generation say they hide them from their boss. A recent university survey found that 86% of students with visible tattoos believe they will have a harder time finding a job after graduation. This modern workplace woe could be one of the reasons behind the 46% increase in tattoo removal among young consumers in the last few years. (Time)

Just last month, a report that Walmart “indexes higher” amongst Millennials than with their parents caused some surprise—but now there’s another report here to tell you that Millennials might shop at Walmart, but they don’t LOVE Walmart. The retailer’s score in a metric of customer loyalty and satisfaction among younger shoppers is actually below average, and competitor Target outpaced them in 24 out of 25 scored categories. Amazon’s overall score was over 40% higher than Walmart’s. (Forbes)

The swift redefinition of fame includes a slew of YouTube creatives who have struck gold on the platform, and made millions with their vlogging careers. YouTube’s 5 biggest stars “have more subscribers than the population of Mexico” and some are “making as much money as Hollywood’s biggest stars." So how did they do it? Many were discovered by bigger brands and got some serious corporate backing to help their rise to the top. (Washington Post)

Young consumers have been credited with fueling a gig and sharing economy “revolution”—but proof of it is a little trickier to find. The number of self-employed Americans has actually declined in the past ten years, and the number of those who hold multiple jobs is also on the decline. “Hard evidence” for the impact of the gig economy isn’t clear, but there is also not much research looking specifically at Millennials’ participation. (WSJ)

We’ve seen several startup brands earn Millennials’ attention with video campaigns that have gone viral. (Dollar Shave Club anyone?) E-commerce site Chubbies is hoping for a viral hit of their own to build their young male audience, and the brand is finding their quirky videos are getting more engagement on Facebook than YouTube. One video posted last month has earned 900,000 views, 3,600 likes and nearly 1,000 shares on the platform. (Adweek)

Quote of the Day: “My favorite app is Airbnb because I like to travel on a budget.” –Female, 22, NY

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