Welcome to the new hustle.
Year13’s YouthSense research has found that 39% of Gen Z university students would like to develop a start-up business during their studies. It’s understandable. These young people have grown up with exploding tech and innovation empires like Facebook, Airbnb and Uber all around them.
Just about every year they’ve been alive there’s someone new disrupting an industry, changing the world, playing with new money, and leaving behind a huge legacy. That someone often starts young, in their twenties, winding up in prestigious awards like Forbes 30 Under 30. Those ‘everyday people’ who had a dream and fought for it – sometimes out of their garage.
That breeds a lot of drive in young people and they’re mirroring what they’re seeing. As a result, Australian universities are becoming hotbeds of startup development.
Australia is not short of success stories.
Who doesn’t want to be Melanie Perkins, the CEO of Canva, who’s on a mission to make design accessible for everyone around the world?
Or Nick Molnar, the founder of Afterpay, who has revolutionised online payments.
Or Adam Jacobs and Cameron Votan, who founded Australia’s biggest online fashion marketplace The Iconic.
These companies are valued at billions of dollars and in the minds of Gen Zs they can be them too.
Today, the prominence of information and communication technology is helping young people to achieve their start-up dreams as part of athe global move towards a knowledge-based economy. It’s a lot more accessible to start an app than to open a mine that’s for sure.
Instead of relying on natural resources or physical contributions, the knowledge economy relies on intellectual capabilities like research, expertise, consulting, and the mixture of all the best ideas in an interconnected world. This drives innovation, and naturally, Gen Z will increasingly find themselves in tech and innovation careers.
So keep a look out for the next big thing born out of university class breaks and their start up intubators. May these Gen Zs stay hungry, stay foolish.