Liz Brody writes for Entrepreneurship Asia Pacific
“Businesses are so appealing to the young and remote, they’ve even become birthday presents. “SaNiyah has always wanted to be her own boss,” says Tiffany Henderson-Marcy of her daughter, who is interested in cosmetology. So last July, when SaNiyah turned 15, Tiffany bought her an LLC to help open a beauty supply store “and make this dream become a reality.”
Could the pandemic be incubating a boom in the next generation of entrepreneurship? It’s hard to say, exactly — but it sure looks like something is happening. Applications for employer tax IDs have spiked dizzyingly since COVID-19 began; that translated to Americans starting 4.4 million new businesses last year, according to researchers at the Peterson Institute for International Economics — a record-breaking 24 percent increase from 2019. The Census doesn’t track business applications by age, and platforms like Kickstarter, GoFundMe, and Instagram told Entrepreneur they don’t have any data or insight to share. So it’s difficult to pinpoint exactly how much of this growth is kid-related.
Still, experts say that crises have historically fostered entrepreneurship — and this particular crisis comes with some unique kid-focused factors. Many entrepreneurial parents juggling work and childcare are eager to offer their kids something other than Charli D’Amelio’s TikToks and Minecraft, which makes creating a business an appealing diversion. Meanwhile, the culture at large has been speedily molting old normals for new ones and seems to be charged with a fresh surge of startup spirit. For ambitious young people, it all combines to produce one of the greatest lessons in entrepreneurship: Unpredictable times are rife with opportunity.”
The winds of change seem to be blowing and as so many people were forced to change their routines because of the Covid-19 pandemic, many are rethinking their career choices. Recently, the news has been full of headlines with businesses complaining that they’re unable to find workers as the economy reopens. While some are arguing that enhanced unemployment benefits are to blame, others see profound changes in what people want to do with their careers.
It’s never been easier to be a freelancer or solopreneur, and after months of working from home, many see opportunities to venture into the world of entrepreneurship rather than going back to their old jobs. Whether that’s because of low pay, the need for childcare, or the perceived risks of working on the front lines, many see greener pastures going into business for themselves.
For young, aspiring entrepreneurs who easily grasp technology and the idea of remote work, the possibilities seem endless. Setting up shop on the internet is easy and with easy access to social media, it’s not hard to get your message out there. That doesn’t mean every idea is a winner but there are many new opportunities to start a business.
Running your own business isn’t easy but there probably has never been a better time to give it a try. The data shows that many are thinking along those lines and we are seeing a boom in new service businesses. That’s exciting for many but the overall economy will need to adjust to post-Covid realities. The pandemic showed that job security is an illusion and that was a wake-up for many who stayed in jobs they didn’t like, believing it was the safe thing to do. It looks like many people no longer believe that and are betting that investing in their dreams of being an entrepreneur is the better bet to make.