May 23, 2024

Number of Teenagers Starting Their Own Businesses Up 700%

Woman sitting at interview in office

In the UK, there are more than 1,000 small businesses started every day. Out of the total 5.7 million, over 450,000 are being run by 16-24-years-olds; many of whom are taking advantage of the help and support available to them, including easier access to advice and finance.

Redefining what it means to be an entrepreneur and a business owner, today’s young adults start twice as many businesses than their baby boomer counterparts did. As younger generations choose to skip spending years ‘learning the ropes’ and working long hours to become CEOs before the age of 30, Fresh Student Living has explored today’s young entrepreneurs who are climbing the corporate ladder faster than any generation before them. Within the UK, the number of teenagers who have started a business has increased by 700% within the last decade. Where previous generations usually founded their companies typically around age 35, young adults are starting their SMEs in their early 20s.

The top three reasons young people are starting businesses include:
1. Financial independence
2. Better work-life balance
3. Job security

Although a degree can, and does, help develop a foundation knowledge of something, upskilling and learning from practical hands-on experience are other ways that 16-24-year-olds are opting for. One way to get this valuable hands-on experience and learning is to ‘skill swap’, where you offer a service for a mutually beneficial agreement. More than just a method of learning, skill swapping can also help take a side hustle to the next level, and in some cases help find a mentor.

Between side hustles and skill-swaps, adults looking to enter the working world or new industries faster and at more senior levels. The average age of a CEO or manager has dramatically lowered from around the age of 40 to just 22 years old. Globally, 53% of men and 55% of women say they started managing before the age of 30, with the average age of a millennial manager being between 25 and 29 years old. Just under two-thirds of Generation X are in management positions today, closely followed by 62% of millennials.

As the workforce continues to change, and shaped by younger generations, the gig economy has helped pave the way for teenagers and young adults to earn an income, while pursuing a passion. According to recent research, 4 in 10 teenagers are interested in starting a business rather than work for someone else, and 25% of 18-24s are aiming to start a business in the next 5 years. Motivated by a sense of purpose and personal satisfaction, teenagers and young adults alike look to build a company that is not only born from a passion but also shaped by values and culture from the ground up.

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