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GEN Y & Entrepreneurship

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GEN Y & Entrepreneurship

By , March 15, 2009

Some recent research on Gen Y (people currently between five and 25 years old) highlights the fact that our ability to engage and manage generation Y as business owners will be critical to the success of our own succession plans.

The research highlighted the following key points – 80 % of all new college/university graduates now believe that self-employment is more secure than a full-time job. Today, 80% of the colleges and universities in the U.S. offer courses on entrepreneurship; 60% of Gen Y business owners consider themselves to be serial entrepreneurs, according to Inc. magazine. Tellingly, 18- to 24-year-olds are starting companies at a faster rate than 35- to 44-year-olds. And 70% of today’s high schoolers intend to start their own companies, according to a Gallup poll.

We have also reviewed further reports on Gen Y and young adults and their interest in starting small businesses. The data was for 18-29 year olds and it showed that 72% of the respondents in that age group wanted to start their own business.

As we know Gen Y are big fans of freedom and flexibility and so the information on them owning their own business is tempered by the qualification that in order to achieve that flexibility they don’t necessarily want to own 100 % (as many of us in fact have) they see the ability to work cooperatively with a group of owners as important to deliver them both the freedom and flexibility they crave and the diversity of skills and resources to better manage and improve the business over time.

What does this mean to succession planning and our ability to transfer ownership to gen Y over time – simply this – if we don’t take into account the entrepreneurial aspirations of this generation they will leave our employment to start their own business – our focus therefore must be on ways of engaging them not just as employees but as business owners with us.

Craig West

Craig West

Managing Director | Succession Plus

Craig West is a strategic accountant who has over 20 years’ experience advising business owners. His background as a CPA in public practice, provided invaluable experience in the key issues of concern to business owners. Following 6 years of study to gain two masters degrees, Craig focused on Capital Gains Tax (CGT) for business sales advising on strategic management of tax issues. This experience formed a very strong view that business owners (and often their advisers) were unprepared and unaware of the steps required to prepare a business for exit.

Craig now acts as a strategic mentor for mid-market business owners and has written four critically acclaimed books on employee incentives, succession planning, asset protection and exit strategies. Craig has conducted numerous seminars and keynote presentations throughout Australia & internationally, including adviser education programs for the Institute of Chartered Accountants and CPA Australia.