Millennials often cop a bit of bad rap from older generations, especially in the world of business. They’re stereotyped as being lazy, entitled, and self-involved.
Yet the reality is that millennials are actually a particularly industrious bunch. In fact, over a third of Australian businesses are currently owned by millennials, and it’s the fastest-growing demographic by far. They’re a serious force in shaping our financial landscape.
No matter how you feel about them, the future of business is going to be in their hands. That’s why I wanted to share 3 reasons why millennials are already changing the face of business finance.
1. They’re embracing new platforms and ideas.
The most marked shift amongst millennials has been the move away from big banks.
From a business financing perspective, millennials are much more likely to look for a loan from a building society or a credit union. This aversion to banks also extends to their personal finances, with apps like Afterpay leaving the banks running to catch up to the millennial market.
In general, millennials are more likely to embrace alternative business financing solutions. Where older generations might still associate ‘alternative’ loans with dodgy sharks and musty rooms, millennials are much more tech-savvy and aware of what’s available.
Millennials understand that the internet has revolutionised the world of commercial lending, and they’re the driving force behind the success of online lending platforms like Prospa. With a knack for entrepreneurship, millenials are also more likely to take a chance on things like crowdfunding or venture capital.
2. Their life experiences have given them a different perspective.
Generally defined as the generation born between 1980 and 1996, Millennials have grown up in a vastly different economic world to their forebears.
Born into the recession of the early 1990s, they witnessed the 2008 GFC before coming of age into the harsh economic conditions brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite constantly getting told how lucky they are, many millennials have had no choice but to be thrifty with their money.
This has led to a higher generational level of financial literacy and engagement than they’re often given credit for; take the rise of ‘Finluencers’ as an example. Millennials have developed a sense of urgency about money, and it drives them to start businesses earlier and take more risks.
One thing that has changed the most is housing affordability. Where a blue-collar worker in the 80s might have been able to buy a 3-bedroom home on their yearly salary, the skyrocketing property market has rendered this a pipe dream for many millennials.
When it comes to securing a loan, property is one of the most widely used forms of equity (liquidity?). If the generational divide in homeownership continues to widen, it will be interesting to see the effects this has on how business financing is secured.
3. They’re interested in making businesses ethical and accountable.
Millennials are set to inherit the world that previous generations have built, so it’s no surprise they’re heavily invested in the kind of world it’s going to be.
A recent study by Deloitte shows that climate change is the single largest concern for Australian millennials. Around half of them feel that wealth inequality is growing, and more than half feel that businesses only focus on making themselves money.
Yet young people are actively working to change this status quo. A Forbes article from 2019 found that millennials overwhelmingly favour ethical & sustainable investments over high returns.
Gradually, this sense of social responsibility is changing the finance environment. Superannuation providers are increasingly tailoring their investment packages around environmental sustainability – if you’re a millennial, you’ve probably seen the ads plastered everywhere.
Millennials are projected to make up over 75% of the workforce by 2025. I’d wager that we’re only just beginning to see the radical effects that these ethical & sustainable mindsets are going to have on the world of business financing.
At Rees group, we work with clients of all ages and backgrounds – and we love working with Millennial-owned businesses.
Our advisors can help you grow your business and your finances. With decades of combined experience, our team are experts at what they do. Get in touch today for a free & confidential chat.