Millennipreneurs: Driven to Disrupt
As self-named disruptors, the desire to reshape the status quo is a core element of what makes up a Millennial entrepreneur.
A desire to disrupt the norm is what drives millennial entrepreneurs and is core to their identity, with many hungry to create new businesses before swiftly moving onto their next compelling project.
As part of BNP Paribas Wealth Management’s 2017 Global Entrepreneur Report, the European based bank interviewed 1,153 “Millennipreneurs” – entrepreneurs born after 1979.
75% of Millennipreneurs describe themselves as “disruptors of the status quo”
Asked to define their business practices, 75% of Millennipreneurs described themselves as “disruptors of the status quo”. For Generation X entrepreneurs, those born from the early 1960s to 1979, only 70% used the “disruptor” label, while just a third of baby boomers did so.
“I think this generation is also about building up ventures for 5-7 years and then either selling them or getting top-end executives to carry most of the company so you can move onto more projects,” said Scott Pecoriello, 20, founder of six companies including Connecticut-based WeatherOptics. “Hopefully something like that is in my future.”
His entrepreneurial journey began aged 13 when he channeled his passion for meteorology into creating a blog Wild About Weather, which grew into a popular site for people who were interested in the weather and ultimately became WeatherOptics.
“I moved to Facebook, gained a lot more followers and turned it into a business. That’s when I fell in love with entrepreneurship and from there I started creating other businesses on the side, some worked some didn’t,” said Pecoriello, whose father and grandfather were both entrepreneurs.
“Entrepreneurship is all about doing things and learning from them, so already I’ve changed the way I do business.”
Science + Sales = Success
Millennipreneurs do seem to be starting out on their own at a much younger age than previous generations of entrepreneurs.
Before he was eligible to vote, self-confessed science freak Daniel Gómez Iñiguez, 26, co-founded SOLBEN (Solutions in Bioenergy), which today lays claims to being Mexico's largest producer of biodiesel.
“By 17, I had already done a lot of research into biodiesel and realised there was a big opportunity in Latin America. After being so into science, I discovered I was also good at selling my ideas,” said Gómez Iñiguez, who has won many awards and accolades including the 2013 Innovator of the Year by MIT Technology Review.
“When you combine science with business and are able to sell those ideas you can do incredible things.”
SOLBEN has evolved from building biodiesel plants to owning and operating these same plants, also switching from producing biofuel to higher-margin added-value products such as bio lubricants and bio cleaners following the sustained slump in oil prices.
“I wouldn’t say I was a disruptor. I’m more of a dreamer who is able to realise my dreams. There are a lot of dreamers in the world, but not many who go work.”