Millennials are taking care of business

In 2012, Lorraine Murphy left a secure job in public relations to start her own company, The Remarkables Group, from her spare bedroom.

"Telling Millennials that they're being over-ambitious or that something can't be done is like a red rag to a bull," she says.

Gen Ys are a very good kind of lazy ... We want to get things done in the most easy and efficient way possible.

Lorraine Murphy

The Remarkables Group matches Australia's leading bloggers with clients including Woolworths, Toyota, Westfield and IKEA, and has won numerous accolades including Emerging Agency of the Year and Start Up of the Year Award in 2013.

"My previous managers were happy to put in the years and get their promotions in order of seniority," says Murphy. "That's an alien concept for Gen Ys like me."

Murphy's generation is moving up. Those born between 1981 and 2001 - known either as Generation Y or Millennials - will make up 75 per cent of the workforce by 2025. And while many Generation X and Baby Boomers accuse millenials of being 'quitters' (most tend to move companies every two to four years), their hunger makes for a dynamic breed of young entrepreneurs.

"Gen Ys are a very good kind of lazy," says Murphy. "We want to get things done in the most easy and efficient way possible, which is why we harness new technology. My entire business is 'cloud-based', which means we run very lean and the team can be fully remote."

Expect change

As founder of business consultancy Expert360, fellow Gen-Y Emily Yue understands the new tech-driven business model. Her company provides an online platform for companies looking for quality professionals 'on demand' for one-off projects.

"Millennials expect change as they have grown up with the rise of the internet and mobile age, the fall of the Berlin Wall and the end of Apartheid," explains Yue, a qualified lawyer and economist. "They're not afraid to question authority. They are flexible and entrepreneurial, but at the same time they can be impatient and too focused on technology over face-to-face interaction."


Yue says that while Gen Xers value stability and loyalty, Gen Yers have the confidence to go out on their own and blur the lines between their private and professional lives.

Socially connected

Former sports journalist-turned-entrepreneur Peter Cassidy founded the social media marketing platform, Stackla, in 2012 at the age of 29.  Three years later, the company has offices in Sydney, San Francisco and London and became Twitter technology partners in 2013.

"We realised that content was expensive to create, web audiences were being cannibalised by social networks and nobody quite knew how to derive value from social engagement," Cassidy says.

Stackla emerged in the way all the best start-ups do. "We saw a genuine problem, had an idea of how to solve it and backed ourselves to make something of it," Cassidy says. "I didn't decide to become an 'entrepreneur' and then start searching for business ideas. I always knew that I'd be frustrated working for someone else."

New start

Cassidy originally wanted to be a sports journalist but after completing a degree and working his way to Executive Producer within the NRL, he woke up at 26 with his dream job wondering what was next.

"I was young, but I had ideas and wanted to really contribute - but I knew I'd have to spend 10 years climbing the ladder before I'd be taken seriously. There's no easy ride in a start-up - everyone has to contribute, so ambitious people get a chance to shine quickly. I believe start-ups are disrupting and frightening traditional businesses because they promote innovation and quick decisions - there's no place for ego and red tape."

Dual view

Murphy sums up the Generation Y entrepreneur best when she says this 'special generation' benefits from knowing how things were done before mobiles, the cloud and Google.

They usually have experience working for other people's businesses so they know what they do and don't want.

"We have spent just enough time - not too much - working for others so we don't see only one way of doing things."