Blog syndicated via Youth Entrepreneurship Council (YEC)
QUESTION: Name one characteristic about this generation or time in history that makes becoming an entrepreneur easier or more rewarding than ever before.
MODERN MENTORSHIP MODEL
"Because this is the first digital generation, aspiring entrepreneurs have an opportunity to use social/mobile software they’ve grown up with to build a network of people navigating their careers together for the first time. This network opens the door for mentorship. Technology has completely revolutionized the traditional mentorship model!"
- Caroline Ghosn | Co-Founder and CEO, The Levo League
EASE OF GLOBAL COMMUNICATION
"I think this is the best time in history to become an entrepreneur because you can run a lucrative operation right from your home. This is because the speed of communication is lightning fast, and you have the ability to connect with the best resources all over the world. Since you are not bound by location nearly as much, individuals are able to create a stellar organization worldwide."
- Lawrence Watkins | Founder & CEO, Great Black Speakers
FLEXIBLE DEFINITION OF A "JOB"
"This generation has abandoned the idea of working for years at one company until retirement, making the flexible nature of entrepreneurship more acceptable. It's not uncommon to have many clients, short- or long-term, and to continually innovate to retain and attract new clients. Instead of bouncing from job to job, entrepreneurs appreciate shorter term interactions that add value for everyone."
- Kelly Azevedo | Founder, She's Got Systems
TODAY'S ACCELERATED LEARNING
"Thanks to modern technology and the Internet, the world is now hyper connected for almost anyone with a desire to leverage it. These platforms of information super highways allow knowledge to be obtained, shared, improved up, then re-shared -- all within days, if not hours. Accelerated learning means entrepreneurs today will have easier time to use these knowledge to help build their success."
- W. Michael Hsu | Founder & CEO, DeepSky
ACCESS TO ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING
"The gap between creativity and technology is becoming narrower by the day. What Web 2.0 has done is given us access to people we might never have otherwise been able to reach before. That's incredibly powerful!"
- Srinivas Rao | Co-Founder, BlogcastFM
ALWAYS CONNECTED, WIRED AND TIRED
"While it may not be a good thing to be tired and caffeinated to keep going, entrepreneurs have the fuel to keep going like the Energizer bunny. With technology surrounding entrepreneurs, it makes it easy to communicate, promote, and work in the fast-paced commerce world that we rely on instantaneous contact for."
- Lane Sutton | Social Media Coach, Social Media from a Teen
EVERYTHING IS CHEAPER!
"Today you can start a WordPress blog, choose and tweak a design, assemble a killer team, craft a meaningful brand, distribute your product/content, fund it, and build an engaged community for basically no money. We did it -- and it only gets easier for you to do it, too!"
- Derek Flanzraich | CEO and Founder, Greatist
LOW BARRIERS TO ENTRY
"The obvious ones are that technology costs are the lowest, and the time it takes to develop your online presence are the shortest they have ever been. However, if you look at Gen Y, you will see a very high unemployment rate. Many have no choice but to create their own living and can easily find others their own age to co-found with them. It all adds up to very low barriers to entry."
- Seth Kravitz | CEO, Technori
NO CHOICES MAKE FOR EASY DECISIONS
"For many, the hardest part about entrepreneurship is taking the initial plunge. In an economic recession where regular jobs aren’t readily available, people are quickly running out of options. An individual with a goal and only one option to achieve it is a dangerous person to bet against."
- Nick Friedman | President, College Hunks Hauling Junk and College Hunks Moving
LOCATION INDEPENDENCE IS AWESOME
"We live in unprecedented times, primarily due to the Internet. With the right business model, it's possible to work from anywhere in the world with an Internet connection. No longer must we confine and define what we do by where we live. That is a profound and inspiring shift commerce. Carpe diem!"
- Kent Healy | Founder and CEO, The Uncommon Life
THE JOBS ACT
"The JOBS Act is going to fundamentally transform the way companies get started, making it easier to obtain startup funding and democratizing the fundraising process to let companies seek capital from investors across the country --not just from Silicon Valley. There's never been such a user-friendly startup ecosystem, or a better time to become an entrepreneur."
- Eric Corl | President + Co-Founder, Fundable LLC
IT'S SOCIALLY ACCEPTABLE
"Starting your own business used to be thought of as hokey or not a real job, but now, entrepreneurs earn prestige and are looked upon as doing something "real," not something made up. You face a lot less pushback from society for pursuing something of your own today, which makes it easier to move forward with it, since others are more supportive of your choice."
- Stephanie Kaplan | Co-Founder, CEO and Editor-in-Chief, Her Campus Media
FAILURE IS A COMMON THING
"Before, failure was the ultimate shame. Today, failure is seen as more of a learning tool, just as long as you bounce back. Your brilliance is no longer based on just your successes, but also how you overcome tough obstacles."
- Kenny Nguyen | Founder/CEO, Big Fish Presentations
The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world's most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, the YEC recently launched #StartupLab, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses via live video chats, an expert content library and email lessons.