At just twenty years old, Mark Zuckerberg invented Facebook in a dorm room at Harvard.
By the end of that year, Facebook already had 1 million users and six years later, Zuckerberg’s net worth is roughly $6.9 billion.
Many teens and young adults look to Zuckerberg as the model for entrepreneurship. Today, 72% of high-schoolers aspire to start their own businesses and 61% of college students are looking to be an entrepreneur over an employee.
However, there are major obstacles that an entrepreneur in Generation Z faces. The PlatForum team has identified three difficulties that young entrepreneurs face everyday.
2. Age Barriers.
Because of the Internet, more young people are making money more quickly and creatively. But the world outside is still designed to serve adults, and there’s a fair amount of hurdles for a young person to jump over where age is concerned.
For example, networking events are usually held at locations like bars and casinos, where you have to be 21 and up to get in. Many vendors might not take young businessmen and women seriously enough to do business with them.
If that weren’t enough, the stereotypes that young people are entitled and lazy actively work against young entrepreneurs.
2. Lack of financial history.
Age is also a factor when trying to financially support a new business. Any business owner needs money to start their company, but young people typically don’t have the financial history needed to acquire funding through loans.
To get a credit card, the law requires you to be 18 and have a proven source of income. However, just because you make a lot of money does not mean you will be approved at a good interest rate. Obtaining a loan from a bank is also tricky because they factor in the amount of money you make, credit history (or lack thereof). More than likely you would need someone with a good credit score (and a good credit history) to cosign for your bank loan and most people are hesitant to do that. Millenials have turned to crowdfunding sources and start-up conventions to pitch their ideas to investors who are willing to take the risk of investing in a startup!
3. Work-life balance is difficult.
38% of Generation Z state that they plan to work throughout college. But the college workload is significantly heavier than the workload in high school, and young entrepreneurs must figure out how to effectively divide time and resources between school and work. Starting a business can’t always be nicely scheduled around classes and homework, and that doesn’t take into account the desire for a social life.
The bottom line: starting a business is difficult, especially for a young entrepreneur.
But it can be done.
The PlatForum recognizes that young entrepreneurs face many obstacles and want to help. Our app enables entrepreneurs to find mentors and team members to help in starting their company and to launch their product to a pool of potential users. Sign up on The PlatForum here!