Is Gen Z Franchising’s Golden Ticket?
Is Gen Z Franchising’s Golden Ticket?

All signs point to Generation Z being a franchise-friendly group.

Forget Millennials; franchises may want to save their focus for the next generation, according to a recent article.

In a post published by franchise news and information site Blue MauMau, franchise law attorney Harold Kestenbaum made the case that Generation Z – people born in the mid-‘90s and later - may be the next big thing for franchising.

“Research shows this current generation is more entrepreneurial than generations past,” he stated. “According to the U.S. Census, more than 4 in 10 believe they will work for themselves in their careers. Research also shows members of Generation Z don’t want to wait to get started on their professional lives. All of this suggests a trend toward franchising.”

Kestenbaum is far from the first to herald the unique attributes of Gen Z. Writing for Entreprenuer, Dan Schawbel, founder of Millennial Branding, said Gen Z has faster and easier access to information resources, specialized programs and experienced mentors than Gen Y did.

“Also considered ‘The Internet generation,’ this is by far the most tech-savvy, connected and self-educated group,” Scawbel said. “While Gen Y is known for ‘side gigs’ and having multiple careers, Gen Z is more focused on working for themselves.”

A 2014 study from Northeastern University supports this view. Data showed that members of Generation Z are “self-directed,” showing a “strong desire to work for themselves” and “study entrepreneurship.”

“A new gen­er­a­tion of Amer­i­cans is on the rise: highly entre­pre­neurial, plu­ral­istic, and deter­mined to take charge of their own futures,” North­eastern Pres­i­dent Joseph E. Aoun said. “Those of us in higher edu­ca­tion must listen to this next gen­er­a­tion and enable them to chart their own paths, gain valu­able expe­ri­ence and become the leaders of tomorrow.”

Sixty-three percent of survey respondents between the ages of 16 and 19 said they wanted to learn about entrepreneurship in college, including how to start their own business, according to the Northeastern study. Meanwhile, 42 percent said they expected to work for themselves at some point. Northeastern pointed out this is nearly four times higher than the percentage of self-employed Americans currently.

Of course, it will ultimately be up to the franchising industry to determine how best to make use of this development. Franchising has struggled with appealing to Millennials and incorporating younger entrepreneurs into the marketplace. Perhaps the industry will see more success with Generation Z.