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 follow the news because it’s there and I can't avoid it.”—Female, 28, ME

Nike has taken the gold in Olympic ad engagement with a focus on authenticity. The brand’s 2016 Rio Olympic Games campaign “stepped beyond” “Just Do It” with a series of spots showing average people pushing themselves beyond their limits. The response to the approach has been overwhelmingly positive–viewers of one ad featuring a mountain climber born without arms and legs called it their “new favorite Nike video.” The campaign exceeded “any other brand in engagement rates,” earning 6.7 million shares and 6.5 million likes and favorites since March. (MediaPost

Facebook is taking a new swipe at Snapchat with a new camera-first app for teens only. Lifestage, created by a 19-year-old former Facebook intern, reimagines the original Facebook experience for teens today with profile pages filled with video clips and filters. Currently, the app’s network is limited to high school and undergrad students—users over the age of 21 can only see their own profiles. However, teens can see the profiles of all other users, “inside and outside” their schools, which could make privacy a concern. Facebook’s previous standalone apps have not found much success, leading the site to shut down their Creative Labs division last year. (The Daily Dot,BuzzFeed)

Unable to compete with social media, The New York Times is putting an end to its Millennial news app. NYT Now was launched in 2014 in an effort to lure in young readers with conversational content at a discounted price. After failing to attract new users, the app dropped its paywall for a freemium model that let users read up to 10 free articles a month. The updated strategy still did little to bring in a younger audience, averaging 257,000 unique users in the past three months. (Business Insider

College students are increasingly taking their athletic talents off the field. At many colleges, you don’t need to play traditional sports like football, track, or lacrosse to be a star athlete—instead, students are opting for sports that require “little prerequisite talent and less on-field aggression,” like ultimate Frisbee, rock climbing, fishing, and wood-chopping tournaments. Many of these alt-sport players discover the new competitive activities because they don’t fit the strict requirements to join other sports teams, and say inclusive team spirit and lack of competitive strife between opponents are major draws. (The Wall Street Journal

Most beauty brands are trying to draw in younger consumers, and Estée Lauder has strategic plans to keep Millennials happy. The brand’s recent profit boost was mostly generated by “color cosmetics brands like Estée Lauder, SmashboxMAC and Clinique,” but prestige fragrance and skin care continue to suffer. They plan to revive the segment by focusing on “selfie culture,” and count on the social media strategy that has fueled their makeup success to work on “instant-gratification” products like face masks and moisturizers. Partnerships with digital influencers, including those with lower but highly engaged followings, are also in the plans. (Fashionista)

Quote of the Day: “I like yoga because It can be used for the body, mind, breath, and soul if desired. I can do it alone or with other people. It can also be as short or long as I want.”—Female, 27, AR

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