HP recently released its 2019 global report on small business. Our very own Ramon Ray, founder of Smart Hustle Media, entrepreneur, and small business expert, hosted the unveiling event in New York City during Small Business Week. The HP Small Business Today Study Global Insights Report surveyed over 4,300 small business owners from across the globe. The HP study revealed the generational difference in values and priorities among business owners. Of particular note was the shift in priorities from making money while pursuing your passion to positive societal impact even over making more money in most instances.
Champions for Change
Over half of the small business owners surveyed agreed that it was their responsibility to fill the gaps left by their governments when it comes to environmental issues and their employees. The next generation of business owners believe that brands can fuel positive social change and they are hoping to answer that call.
In the HP study, 70% of small business owners agree that they have a responsibility to protect the environment and 65% of small business owners believe they have a duty to positively impact their communities. The study revealed that this “purpose driven commitment gets stronger with each new generation.” Younger generations are more motivated by contributing to society than personal gain. This is apparent in that:
- Gen Z small business owners are 1.5 times more likely than their Baby Boomer predecessors to build a business that helps solve a social or environmental issue.
- The younger generations are shifting from an “I” to “us” mentality and 86% of Gen Z surveyed reported that they’ve had to make some kind of sacrifice in order for their small business to succeed.
The Struggle Is Real
While the next generation of small business owners are committed to social and community impact, they are feeling the pressure. The HP study found that 8 in 10 Gen Z business owners are facing the following challenges:
- Navigating regulations and laws
- Keeping up to date with evolving technology
- Finding adequate support
- Lack of sleep
Raised on social media, and in the age of comparison, the HP study found that they are balancing impact—giving back to their communities and image—garnering influence and being appreciated by their peers more than any other generation. Gen Z business owners feel the pressure to have it all, and they’re exhausted.
The Possibilities of Print
Sponsored by print giant HP, the study also included metrics about printers and small business. The study determined that 86% of small business owners still have a printer they rely on. Nearly half of respondents said they could not operate their business without one. HP says,