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Ditching the 9 to 5: More Than Half of Gen Zs Say They Plan to Leave Their Jobs to Pursue Their Own Business Dreams

 New research from WhatsApp finds that 68% of Gen Z have had a business idea, but only 18% have brought it to life

Almost half (47%) of Gen Z plan to start a side hustle, compared to just one in five average Brits (20%)

Enterprise Nation and WhatsApp join forces with influencers Chunkz and Harry Pinero to help young entrepreneurs Think Up, Start Up and Scale Up their business ventures

New research by WhatsApp Business shows that young people in the UK are more entrepreneurial than ever, as over two thirds (68%) of Gen Zs have had a new business idea – compared with 38% of the general population. In addition, over half (59%) say they are planning to leave their current jobs to pursue their dreams.

The cost of living crisis is a key motivator for young people in wanting to start their own venture, with 31% saying they want to start up their business to earn more money to deal with rising costs. However, just 18% of Gen Zs with a business idea have so far managed to bring it to life, with the main barriers cited being money and investment (54%), followed by more than a quarter feeling they lack the skills or knowledge required (27%).

Just 28% of Brits have sought advice on how to start a business, compared to almost two thirds (65%) of tech-savvy 18 – 25 year olds. Gen Zs are also significantly more aware of the existence of free apps (like the WhatsApp Business app) that can help you start up a business (43%) than the average Brit (26%).

WhatsApp and Enterprise Nation have teamed up to share their top tips for budding British entrepreneurs who want to quickly and easily Think Up, Start Up and Scale Up their own business:

Find your niche: It’s increasingly hard to get cut through, but if you can identify a business idea that solves a problem for consumers you will be onto a winner.

Get that bag: With new-age banks you can set up a business account in minutes from your phone. You can manage your finances 100% through an app, and with no monthly fees, it’s perfect for a start-up.

Be where your customers are: Connect with customers where they already are – and with over two billion users worldwide, that’s on WhatsApp. The free WhatsApp Business app allows you to set up a business profile with all your information, a catalogue of your services for customers to browse, and is end-to-end encrypted, making it secure for everyone. If you already use WhatsApp, setting up on the WhatsApp Business app will feel like second nature and can be done in minutes.

Be social: This might be an obvious one, but it can’t be said enough. Have a social presence and post regularly and often (but not too often) to keep your customers interested.

Prioritise communication: When you’ve built your customer base, you need to nurture the relationship like your favourite house plant. No one wants to be ‘on’ 24/7, but you can’t leave them hanging. The WhatsApp Business App offers automatic replies and quick responses, so customers feel loved and you look professional, even when you’re off the clock.

Emma Jones CBE, Founder of Enterprise Nation said: “It’s no secret that Gen Z are an entrepreneurial generation, ignited by joining the workforce during a pandemic and rising inflation, but while there is plenty of enthusiasm, there is a clear knowledge gap on how they turn their ideas into a successful business. We believe any idea, no matter how unusual, can become a great business with the right tools. So, we’re delighted to partner with the WhatsApp Business app to encourage people to take that leap and be their own boss.”

Helen Charles, Public Policy Director at WhatsApp added: “The WhatsApp Business app was designed with the small business owner in mind, specifically to make connecting with customers quick and easy. Whether it’s to send automatic replies or have a digital catalogue of services, we hope businesses of all sizes find it helpful having an official presence on WhatsApp so they can spend more time on running a successful business”.

To coincide with the research, WhatsApp and Enterprise Nation teamed up with popular Gen Z YouTubers Chunkz and Harry Pinero to help three budding British entrepreneurs start up and scale up some of the nation’s weird and wonderful business ideas.

The WhatsApp Business app is free to use and enables you to set up a business in minutes. It works like the WhatsApp consumer app, but offers additional useful features for businesses, such as a business profile, automatic replies, and a catalogue for products and services, making it the quickest way to communicate with users on a service that they are already using.

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