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 was completely invested in Breaking Bad, it took a simple everyday man and slowly dehumanized him through choices that an individual in real life could have possibly made or gone through.”—Male, 22, NJ

The creators of livestreaming pioneer Meerkat made a new app in secret—and it’s doing great. Houseparty is a group video chat platform designed to “capture some of the spirit of Meerkat but in a more personal way that encourages users to participate.” Users can create or join “rooms” to video chat with friends, and are warned if an unknown mutual friend joins the group. The app opens to a camera like Snapchat, is “sprinkled liberally” with emojis, and has already generated almost 1 million mostly teenage users during its testing phase. (Mashable)

Neiman Marcus is in full support of the "see now, buy now" retail strategy some brands have been adopting to keep up with impatient young consumers. The retailer has seen sales decline for fourth straight quarters, and is citing an “out-of-sync fashion cycle” as a crucial part of their troubles. Now that just launched collections are "blogged and broadcasted all over the world via social media," and fast fashion retailers are “delivering trends before ‘authentic runway looks are delivered to stores,’” the retailer is encouraging their vendors to deliver products quickly after release to keep up. (Fashionista

Club Med knows not all Millennials are “frugal single travelers.” The travel brand, “where all the cool kids went in the 70s and 80s,” is now setting their sights on affluent Millennial parents who travel. Spending $1.5 billion in facilities upgrades, Club Med now offers “zen oases,” where “parents to briefly recuperate away from their kids” and escape the pressures of work and home. They also are focusing on the experiential aspect of their brand, adjusting their website to allow visitors to experience their trips digitally before their buy. (Skift)

Kano, one of the first and most unique toys to teach kids coding, is heading back to the Kickstarter to promote three new programmable do-it-yourself kits. Their new products focus on a toy coming “to life when it responds to its environment," and includes a Pixel display that can be taught to display different colors and shapes in response to sounds. The brand’s target market is 8-14-year-olds, but they aim to make it “simple for anyone in the world to make, hack, create, manipulate, and warp technology as it is to use it today." (Fast Company)

Marketing to the post-Millennial generation is all about getting creative, and serving ads through sponsored content is resonating strongly with teens who fully understand it’s a marketing strategy. When AwesomenessTV looked into their popular series Royal Crush—which takes place on a cruise ship and is sponsored by Royal Caribbean—they found that is was 30% more efficient than TV. But one form of traditional advertising is still effective: sampling. To promote their moon sneakers and hot sauce, GE toured colleges to target engineering students. (Adweek

Quote of the Day:  “Young and Hungry are short 30 minute shows, so I can watch it on my lunch breaks at work. I like the humor and the characters. The story line is easy to follow. It's an easy show to binge watch.”—Female, 20, WS

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