Entrepreneurship, Social Media and the Economic Impact of Gen Y

(This is a guest post, interested in writing for us?)

Generation Y, those born between 1980 and 1995, are used to having the world at their fingertips. The rise in technology has given this particular generation more opportunities than their parents and grandparents. Add to this a growing entrepreneurial spirit, and it’s clear to see why this particular generation is poised for financial success.

The Wealthiest Generation?

The past trend was for parents to amass wealth, live out their retirement in comfort and then pass that wealth on to their children when they passed on. During their lifetime, the older generation was typically wealthier than the generation still gathering their wealth during their working years. This is changing.

In a recent study published by Deloitte, financial planning experts stated that Generation X and Generation Y will overtake Baby Boomers in wealth by the year 2018. Several factors have led to this change. First, the older generation has stopped waiting for death to pass on their wealth. Many are choosing to pass it on while they live, thus contributing to the wealth of their children and grandchildren.

The second, and perhaps more important reason, is the rise in technology. The world of technology provides nearly endless opportunities to make money, and the young people of Generation Y know how to capitalize on this.

A Generation Poised for Tech Success

What is it about technology that brings success to Generation Y? In order to be successful in a technology-driven world, people need to know how to use technology to promote their money-making endeavors. Gen Y has no problem with this.

The so-called “Internet success tools” of social media, including sites like Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and LinkedIn, are tools this generation grew up with. They were just learning to use technology when these sites, or sites similar to them, launched, so there was little learning curve. They’re also adept at other online success tools, like PPC management and search engine optimization. Because they understand and use these tools regularly, they are in a better position to be successful online than older generations.

Not only that, but the new mobile form of technology in the form of tablets, smartphones and apps, is something that these young people seem to instinctively know how to use. Kids are designing and selling apps before they can drive, and young adults are capitalizing on the nearly endless income streams available in this new form of media.

Strong Entrepreneurial Spirit

Every day you read about kids and young people who are bringing in thousands, if not millions, while still living at home and going to high school or college. These young entrepreneurs point to another reason for the success of Generation Y, and that is a burning entrepreneurial spirit. This generation seems to have been born with the passion to make money without the trappings of a traditional job, and technology makes this more possible than ever before.

Young adults can use their Etsy pages to sell their homemade creations. They can set up a monetized blog and use social media to promote it and gain readers. They can design and publish videos promoting their product, service or blog with relative ease, even posting online for free. This means that the challenges their parents faced when starting a business, primarily the challenges of marketing in a cost-effective manner, are far less of a concern. These young people understand online marketing and know how to use it.

It is this combination of an entrepreneurial spirit, rise in technology and clear understanding of online success tools that is pointing the people of Generation Y to economic success. In just a few short years, they should easily overtake their parents’ generation in wealth. As long as technology continues to grow, this trend should persist, leading to a generation of people who live a comfortable, economically stable life that they began building in their earliest adult years.

Zach Buckley is a freelance writer who is interested in exploring the intersection of culture, science and education.  He lives in the Midwest and enjoys music, literature and good food.

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