According to Forbes, millennials are on track to be the most entrepreneurial generation yet. They’re selling local. And one of their core values as consumers? Buying local.
The magazine cites a study which found that millennials are starting businesses much earlier than baby boomers, beginning at around age 27 rather than age 35, on average. They’re managing larger staffs, usually around 122 people versus boomers’ 30, because the industries they’re involved in require large teams, like retail, tech, and e-commerce.
They’re also more concerned than past generations about their businesses’ environmental and social impact. Rather than waiting for their businesses to become profitable and then consider philanthropy, millennial business owners tend to think about social impact early on, building it into their missions.
With all that business starting and social impacting, Forbes adds that millennials tend to prefer to buy local more than past generations, perhaps because small business owners know the value of supporting one another. More than 50 percent also choose brands to buy from based on the causes those companies support.
I started my own business in September 2018. I’ve always enjoyed freelance writing, but decided to take the plunge, quit my 9-to-5 and offer marketing and public relations services, too. Not only was there the appeal of working from home and making my own schedule, but I’m a true millennial who grew up thinking she could be anything she wanted. And I always wanted to be a writer.
I’m not the only one in my life who feels this way. My husband wants to get involved in real estate. My best friend is in the process of opening a rock-climbing gym. Another invented his own software to help hospital nurses respond to their patients faster when they need something. Everywhere I look, the millennials in my life are trying to go their own way.
It just makes sense that, with so many people trying to make their own endeavors successful, that we would want other owners to thrive, too. Owning a business will teach you a lot—and quickly—and it has made me more passionate than ever about shopping local. When someone pays for my services, I do a happy dance. If I can buy a candle from a local craftsperson rather than the mall, or produce at the farmer’s market rather than the grocery store, I know how those business owners do a little dance, too.
But buying local doesn’t have to be just a millennial trait. Anytime you can support a neighbor, why not?