24% of Millennials plan to start their own business, but have the generation called time on traditional family values?

November 19, 2014

The start-ups in Silicon Valley are famously led by the elite under 35 and it seems in Britain too, many Millennials are hungry for entrepreneurial success. Indeed, new research from Mintel reveals almost a quarter (24%) of Millennials* would like to start their own business in the future, with nearly one in five (19%) planning to do this in the next year.

However, amongst this generation there seems to be a growing popularity for money-making over baby-making. Today, there is just a 5 percentage point gap in the number of older Millennials (aged 25-34) planning to start their own business and those aspiring to having a baby in the future. Whilst 23% of older Millennials say they would like to start their own business, just 28% say that having a baby is a priority in the future, declining to just a quarter (26%) of older Millennial males. Overall, 35% of Millennials say that having a baby is a priority in the future, with just 15% of this group saying they plan to do this in the next year.

Additionally, showing that Millennials are moving away from archetypal family living, just 58% of this generation say they would like to have a traditional family, falling to 54% of younger Millennial males (aged 16-24). Furthermore, whilst almost two-thirds (64%) of Millennials say they would like to get married, one in five (21%) say it is not for them, rising to a third (33%) of older Millennial males. Indeed, it seems as Millennials grow up, their values and priorities change, as they adopt a more realistic outlook on life. The intent to buy a house drops from 60% to 40% and the desire to get married goes down from 51% to 35% for younger and older Millennials respectively.

Richard Cope, Senior Trends Consultant at Mintel, said:

“While Millennial consumers seem to start off with traditional aspirations of marriage, children and possessions, it seems as they grow young adults are confronted with the financial and practical limitations of their dreams. Faced with youth unemployment and an ageing workforce that refuses to retire, Millennials are being impelled into entrepreneurship, whilst digital platforms are granting them the tools, networking and crowdsourcing resources to make a go of it. In the meantime, despite the fact that values such as marriage and children may have been instilled from early life, modern life is forcing them to rethink their priorities.”

In addition, 49% of this generation consider financial security as an important factor in living a successful life compared to 47% who believe that having a strong relationship or marriage is. Topping the list for a successful life however is good health, with over half (55%) choosing this factor, rising to almost two thirds (64%) of older Millennial females. Indeed, it seems that many Millennials are choosing to live life on the safe side, as just three in 10 (29%) agree that having a variety of different experiences is important and just a quarter (23%) claim that being passionate about your job is crucial for a prosperous life.

“Today’s youth no longer buy in to the vices of old. Smoking, drinking and taking drugs have become X-rated activities, thanks in part to state legislation on alcohol and tobacco making it more expensive – and unappealing – to rebel in the traditional sense than ever before.” Richard continues.

Despite the importance placed on financial security, it seems when it comes to their spending Millennials are financially more prudent with just two in 10 (20%) claiming they sometimes buy luxury items that they can’t really afford. Indeed, Mintel’s research has found that the top financial priority for Millennials is to add to their savings with almost three quarters (73%) claiming this is a current financial priority compared to just two in five (42%) who say paying off debts is of present importance.

When choosing what to splash the cash on, over a third (38%) say they prefer to shop online rather than in stores and when it comes to their shopping habits the generation have more traditional demands. Indeed, three in 10 (31%) say they tend to pay attention to advertising that they find funny compared to just 9% who say they tend to pay more attention to advertising on social networks compared with other places.

“The internet never closes and in the Millennial mindset neither should anything else.The view that Millennials have been reared on the idea that they are “special”, may be wide of the mark, but “Individual” is a safe bet, making personalisation something of a right rather than a privilege. Millennials want to be individual and different and brands brave enough to deal in serendipity and mystery will win their hearts. These qualities of conservatism and analysis mean that retailers need to work hard to convince Millennials of their wares’ efficacy, provenance and ethics to justify the outlay.” Richard concludes.

*Millennials are defined as a cohort of British adults born between 1980 and 1999. Younger Millennials are defined as adults aged between 16 and 24, whilst older Millennials are aged between 25 and 34.

Mintel’s Lifestyles of Millennials UK 2014 report is available to purchase priced £1750.

Press review copies of the report and interviews with Senior Trends Consultant Richard Cope, are available on request from the press office.

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