I, along with a vast number of fellow young professionals out there, aspire to be in charge of a business. As a young entrepreneur and part owner of Aamplify, I count myself lucky to be part of the Deloitte Private Club. This is a place where private business owners meet on a monthly basis to not only listen to an industry leader speak, but to socialise and share the pain points facing their respective businesses. It’s my fourth month into the programme and it’s been a fascinating experience to say the least.
The real value so far has been the opportunity to form important relationships, absorb ideas, mingle with industry influencers, and be a part of a unique group. Yes, it can be frightening being one of the youngest by 10-plus years, but perhaps what appeals to me most is that it’s a vehicle for like-minded people to express their emotions in a non-judgmental environment - where candidness is encouraged, and members offer genuine insight and solutions to help one another. But why should kiwi entrepreneurs care about the participation of the younger generation in a forum like this?
It’s a scary fact, but there’s no point trying to avoid it, or claim it won’t affect you… By 2015 the majority of the workforce will be in their 20’s. That’s a global statistic and also applies to New Zealand. We’re here, like it or not.
That said, we have a lot to learn from more seasoned pro’s. Gen Y or the millennial generation (as we have been named) might not understand how business is done today and in the past. However we are part of the solution to how business will be done going forward. And so we have something to teach too, as new social and technological norms develop, we’re keen to share and educate our peers too.
It’s been fascinating to hear how young successful entrepreneurs like Barnaby Marshall from I Love Ugly, have built a brand and are expanding into the US: He’s even younger than me! Through to understanding the real pressures of running a family business – with challenges like passing the baton from one generation to the next.
From my own Generation Y view, we’re more than eager to get stuck in and learn, so we can punch above our weight – sooner rather than later. Deloitte Private Club offers a unique venue where the different generations can learn about each other, as well as hear from business movers and shakers, and formulate new ways to do business for the next generation.