Millennial Entrepreneurship: The Rise of the Boss Babe
Bold, tech-savvy, fearless and ambitious are just some of the terms I’d use to describe my millennial women peers. It’s no surprise then that new research from The Kauffman Foundation finds start-up activity in the U.S. increased in 2016, boosted by growth among women, millennials and minorities.
Women currently make up 40.6 percent of new entrepreneurs. While that remains below the rate of men (59.4 percent), it is “the highest level we have seen since nearly 1996, and pretty significant,” said Arnobio Morelix, senior research analyst at the Kauffman Foundation.
I spoke to two millennial women, side-stepping traditional career paths and creating an abundant life on their own terms about their entrepreneur journey.
Louise Broni-Mensah, award-winning founder and CEO of shoobs.com, an online ticketing company, is the definition of a millennial trailblazer. Backed by the prestigious Silicon Valley-based, Y Combinator start-up accelerator program, Louise has ambitious growth plans for her business. I caught up with her on her recent fundraising trip in New York.
“After graduating university, I followed a traditional career path and joined an investment bank. I quickly found the corporate world unfulfilling, so decided to take up managing a Hip Hop artist in my spare time. By day, I was a junior trader and by night I was dealing with music execs, putting on live shows and spending time in the studio. Although demanding, the experience gave me a good insight into the music and events market,” said Louise.
Growth of Women Opportunity Entrepreneurs
The Kauffman Foundation analysis finds women are more likely to be “opportunity entrepreneurs,” than their male counterparts, meaning they decide to launch a business because they identified an opportunity in the marketplace, rather than as a result of losing a job.
Louise’s aha moment came when she realized that the events industry was plagued with “archaic and inefficient methods for event promotion and managing bookings,” a stark contrast to the sophisticated systems she was accustomed to in investment banking. “It was clear that there was a gap in the market to bring local nightlife events online and help promoters connect with their young tech-savvy audience. We have big ambitions to become the de facto choice for millennials around the world looking for a great night out,” Louise said.
Boss Babes Building Global Brands
A growing number of online millennial-run businesses are being created to inspire and encourage entrepreneurship. Scrolling through Instagram, I came across Natalie Diver, founder and CEO of Oh My Glow and CEO of BossBabe, a members-only online community aimed at millennial women looking to build their own business online.
“After graduating university, I wanted to create a business that was not only profitable; but at the same time would give me the freedom to be location independent.”
The BossBabe Instagram page has a dedicated global following (294,000 at the last count) and upon joining the members-only website, subscribers get access to curated content, career advice and step-by-step tips for growing a business.
“The community is growing everyday and it feels great that we’re inspiring women globally, to embrace their ambition and follow their dreams.”
In speaking with these millennial women entrepreneurs, the common thread was their desire to make a difference and create something bigger than themselves. That in itself is inspiring.