Social media experts take the plunge

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					                             Education in the Herald

Social media experts take the plunge
Gen Y steps up and shows who's boss
By Sarah Whyte

                                                WE'VE had the baby boomers, Gen X and
                                                Gen Y. But now Gen Y seems to have
                                                earned itself a nickname - Gen E - the
                                                Entrepreneur generation.

                                                This generation of young workers are
                                                abandoning their corporate jobs to become
                                                their own boss and tapping into social media to
                                                earn money, a new report has found.

                                                The study revealed 44 per cent of Gen Y
                                                respondents used eBay or Facebook to develop
                                                their careers and earn money.

"Generation Y want the work-life balance, leadership and creative skills that only their own
business can offer," said Mark McCrindle, owner of McCrindle Research, who conducted the

"They are [also] able to use technology to make money while they are doing other jobs."
Mr McCrindle said his research, which involved interviews with 586 people, showed the
younger generation understood the power of social networking that other generations had
failed to capture.

"While the baby boomer has 64 friends on Facebook, Gen Y had 244 Facebook friends. They
know how to use these numbers to then build or advertise their product."

Paul Romero was studying finance at university when he started selling casino tables and
casino chips online via eBay with high school friend Robert Ranoa.

The 26-year-olds were earning up to $500 a week. "It was quick cash," he said. "The risk was
there, but it was more a hobby. I also worked at Coles part-time."

Nine years later their "hobby" led the pair to own what they consider to be one of the biggest
online leather jacket companies on eBay. "We wanted to capture the online audience," said Mr
Romero, who operates his warehouse in Arndell Park in Sydney's west.

"E-commerce is an untapped market in Australia, for sure."

Mr Romero left his lucrative hedge fund finance job to start the online business, Viparo, which
he has been running for three years.

Herald Education informing NSW & ACT teachers                                          April 2011
"What I'm earning now matches what I was earning in my previous job, but with a lot more

"Everything you put in is everything you get back."

Natasha Munasinghe, general manager of entrepreneurial mentoring company The Frank

Team, said she was seeing an increase in young entrepreneurs engaging in social ventures
and "pop-up" businesses.

"They identify a problem, fix it and then move on to the next venture," she said.

"These people are more towards the 'social' bent [and want to] be their own boss, set their
own time, and addressing their needs."

Ms Munasinghe said she did not think "entrepreneurs" were a new phenomenon, but cultural
support had led to the increase.

"People are much more able to take those steps ... and take that leap a little quicker," she

  What Gen E is doing
  * Making money via the internet
  * Using social networks and friends to develop businesses
  * Entering into social entrepreneurship to give back to society
  * Putting quality of life over standard of living
  * Delaying career
  * Having multiple income-earning options
  * Responding to global trends and having networks of contacts from multiple countries
  * Being the most likely to try a business idea without considering all risks

  Source: The Generation E Report, McCrindle Research

Publication: The Sun- Herald
Date: 10 April 2011
Section: News
Page: 20

Herald Education informing NSW & ACT teachers                                          April 2011

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