young entrepreneur

Young entrepreneurs are driven by a desire for independence, a belief in social good and a commitment to employee happiness, according to a new report.

Sage's Walk With Me report, which examines the key characteristics, attitudes and behaviours of millennial entrepreneurs around the world, found that these business leaders have diverse traits which align them with five workplace personality types, despite common generalisations.

Principled planners - extremely methodical in their approach to work, they enjoy carefully planning for success. With an ambitious streak, they never take anything at face value and always ask a lot of questions.

Driven techies - love their work and can’t bear the thought of sitting around twiddling their thumbs, they trust in the power and efficiency of innovative technology to keep them one step ahead of the competition. They have a strong belief in its ability to accurately target their existing and future customers.

Instinctive explorers - cavalier, they love the unknown, as well as exploring uncharted territory. They trust their gut instincts and stick to their guns. A modern image is extremely important to them, as is leaving a legacy behind to be remembered by.

Real worlders - resourceful, but likely to say they rely on technology in order to succeed. When it comes to their approach to work and making decisions, they tend to alternate between going on gut instinct and taking a more methodical approach.

Thrill seekers - easily bored and always on the lookout for the next challenge, they couldn’t care less about appearances. They work best around others and believe that making a social impact is overrated.

The study found that millennial entrepreneurs generally want to make a difference. Doing social good is especially important to young entrepreneurs in places like South Africa (80%) and Brazil (81%). Respondents in Switzerland (24%), Australia (20%) and France (19%) said employee happiness is what gets them out of bed in the morning, while 34% say they started their own business in order to be the master of their own destiny.

When it comes to the work life balance, 66% value work over life. For respondents in Brazil (71%), Australia (70%), Belgium (70%), Singapore (73%) and Switzerland (70%), reducing the amount of hours they spend working and retiring early is a key focus for them.

In the UK, having control over personal destiny was a big motivation; over a third of UK respondents (36%) cited being their own boss as being a key driver for starting up a business. British entrepreneurs were also second most likely to put work before pleasure with 42% saying they prioritise business over socialising. Only Belgium was higher, scoring 43% for this question.

Nearly two-thirds (62%) of young entrepreneurs globally believe they’ll be a serial entrepreneur, starting more than one than business – with 52% saying this is because they have lots of ideas they want to share with the world.

Kriti Sharma, director of product management, mobile at Sage, said: “As a millennial entrepreneur myself I know first-hand that this business group are shaking things up. We’re rejecting established patterns of working and making technology work for us. We see business through a new lens. We’re willing to work hard, but want flexibility in how, when and with whom we do business.”

Sage CEO, Stephen Kelly, said: “Millennial entrepreneurs have a huge role to play in the start-up economy and are shaping the modern workplace at great pace.

“But they can’t be grouped together as a homogenous stereotype. Our research shows that they fall into distinct camps with specific hopes, fears, concerns and ways of working. They will be our next generation of business builders, the heroes of the economy, and understanding what makes them tick now stands us all in good stead for the future. That’s true of the people that want to do business with them, buy from them, hire them or create policy that helps them to grow."