Is Entrepreneurism Dead for Millennial Students? Student Launch Pad Weighs In

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Student Launch Pad confirms new research, which reveals that the millennial generation is risk-averse, preventing them from becoming entrepreneurs. Through specific strategies, millennials can overcome this deficit to reduce their fear, develop an entrepreneurial perspective, and determine their career interests.

To fully understand who they are and determine direction for the future requires that students take risks and step out of their comfort zones.

Entrepreneurism is in decline among the millennial generation. Though the great innovators of the past, such as Steve Jobs and Bill Gates, were risk-takers, millennials lack that quality.

A recent Wall Street Journal article published on January 2, 2015 confirms this trend, revealing that entrepreneurism in people under 30 is at a 24-year low. Furthermore, when given the opportunity to start a business, 41% of recent graduates said they would not do so for fear of failure.

Student Launch Pad recently confirmed this trend, finding a low tolerance for risk among its students. Results from the StrengthsFinder assessment show that 27% of Student Launch Pad's students have Deliberative as a top five strength (out of 34 total strengths). This strength is defined as anticipating obstacles and taking serious care in making decisions, which can lead to paralysis about making career choices for the future.

To further understand millennials’ fear of failure, Student Launch Pad's founder, Stephanie Shackelford, is beginning to study this phenomenon through her doctoral research. She states, “Research shows that those who have found their purpose in life did so not only through introspection but also by taking intentional action. To fully understand who they are and determine direction for the future requires that students take risks and step out of their comfort zones.”

An awareness of strengths and passions is the first step, but then students must put these career interests into practice to further the discovery process. Taking intentional action and stepping out of one’s comfort zone will look differently for each person, and through Student Launch Pad, students learn specific strategies for testing out and applying their career interests.

Taking a risk could mean that a student connects with professionals whose careers interest them. Or it could look like starting their own company. The key is to engage in activities that are meaningful – and a bit scary. In pushing themselves to embrace risk, students discover their capabilities and see their career interests in action.

Student Launch Pad coaches high school and early college students to make the best decisions for their future based on the intersection of their strengths and passions. Through our one-on-one or online coaching programs, students are accepted to their dream colleges, choose their best major, and find their ideal careers. Student Launch Pad’s sister company,Career Flight Plan, offers career coaching for college seniors, recent graduates, and working professionals. Through one-on-one coaching programs, clients develop a flight plan to navigate their best possible career future.

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Stephanie Shackelford
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since: 11/2012
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