"Gen Y is the most entrepreneurial generation ever," says Belmont University entrepreneurship professor Jeff Cornwall. Why is this so? Because these young people are watching their parents struggle with the harsh reality of corporate jobs being downsized and outsourced.
Gen Y clearly sees its parents' dependency upon their employers. At any time, they might lose the jobs for which they gave so much of their lives, or if they were among the "lucky" ones who retained their jobs, they might have to work even harder to cover for the ever-slimming workforce.
In "Demographic Trends and Small Business," the Intuit Institute for the Future reports, "The Y Generation is leery of working in the corporate world. They see traditional big company jobs as both constraining and risky. They have a clear wish to be the captains of their own destiny. They see entrepreneurship as a way of maintaining independence, of owning their careers."
Not surprisingly, unemployment rates are higher among Gen Y than for the general population—20 to 30 percent, depending upon the country. One reason is that younger people won't take just any job or opportunity. They are attracted to openness, transparency, collaboration and a close relationship between the mission and the product line. These 80 million children of baby boomers are passionate about causes that do good in the world. This includes network marketing opportunities that offer a social benefit.
Gen Y is connected to the world through online social networks. One instance of disrespect or failure to be truthful will travel via social media worldwide in a heartbeat.
"Integrity is the essence," said Buckminster Fuller, and there couldn't be a higher truth for Gen Y. This demand for integrity has the potential to raise companies that follow high standards of integrity and sink those that don't. This will ultimately serve our profession and everyone involved in it.
Network marketing is a perfect vehicle for Gen Y, for it offers personal control within a larger network that provides ongoing support and connection. The infrastructure provided by the network marketing company allows the individual an unprecedented amount of freedom to work with whom they want, wherever they wish to be in the world.
The twenty-first century offers the greatest opportunity for individual entrepreneurship the world has ever seen. Network marketing can lead the way by training and mentoring young people in building their own successful businesses.
Remember, education changes everything.
See you in class!
Dean, Networking University