Sat, Sep 02, 2017 - Page 9 News List

Millennial entrepreneurs value benefiting their communities

The HSBC Essence of Enterprise report shows Asia-Pacific entrepreneurs in their 20s participate twice as much in community activities and volunteering

By Kendrick Li

The entrepreneurial spirit of global millennials is more likely than their parents’ generation to be driven by the desire to increase their influence and have a positive effect on others, the Essence of Enterprise report launched by HSBC Private Banking said.

The study found that more than a quarter (26 percent) of Asia-Pacific entrepreneurs in their 20s set up their business with a view to making a name for themselves, compared with 18 percent of the over-50s.

However, millennials in this region are not simply driven by the desire for prestige, as respondents outlined their desire to use their influence to have a direct effect on their community.

Nearly a quarter of those aged 20 say having a positive impact on the community was an important goal compared with one in 10 (13 percent) of entrepreneurs aged at least 50.

In the Asia-Pacific region, young entrepreneurs are also more likely to say having this positive influence is important compared with older entrepreneurs (21 percent versus 13 percent).

This distinction between generations is most marked in Australia, where the difference moves 26 percentage points (37 percent versus 11 percent).

Overall, millennial entrepreneurs in the Asia-Pacific place as much emphasis on increasing their personal wealth as they do on bettering themselves.

While the global findings suggest shifting priorities for younger generations, those in the Asia-Pacific also demonstrate an approach that reflects financial considerations as part of their entrepreneurial mix.

Nearly half (45 percent) of millennial entrepreneurs across China, Hong Kong, Singapore and Australia say that they went into business with the goal of increasing their personal wealth, compared with 40 percent in the US and 29 percent in Europe.

Young entrepreneurs in the region were also more motivated by their passion to start their business and rank slightly above the global average (41 percent versus 38 percent), compared to only a third for the over-50s (29 percent).

Self-improvement, at 41 percent, was also one of the strongest reasons millennials became entrepreneurs, while only 35 percent of the older entrepreneurs said so.

Notably, the gap between the two global age groups widens when it comes to environmental and social considerations.

Entrepreneurs in their 20s are more likely to put a high amount of effort into tackling these issues within their business compared with the over-50s (37 percent versus 25 percent).

The divide is particularly clear in China, where nearly half of millennials focus on this area, compared with less than a quarter of the over-50s (41 percent versus 23 percent).

The research also shows that millennials spend nearly twice as long on average participating in community activities or volunteering (54 minutes versus 30 minutes on average per day).

China is again the area with the biggest discrepancy between young and old when it comes to these activities, as the time difference amounts to more than an hour extra a day (one hour and 18 minutes versus six minutes).

While millennial entrepreneurs are not as motivated to be their own boss as much as older over-50s entrepreneurs (35 percent versus 42 percent), their growth aspirations are higher, with a 14 percent annual growth rate target versus 10 percent and 12 percent in US and Europe respectively.

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