Entrepreneurs: Shaping Gen Z


Brooke Carneal

Gigi Maresca, owner of Blue Photo Bus photography, is a first-year entrepreneurship student and her son, Nikko Maresca, is a first-year photography student.

Editorial Board

Campus Current’s editors think students of every major should have to take an entrepreneurship class at AACC during their first year.

The college’s Introduction to Entrepreneurship class teaches students the beginnings of how to run their own businesses. Lots of students on campus could be future business owners without even knowing it.

Those born after 1996 belong to Generation Z, which includes rising innovators.

People ages 21 and younger are gravitating away from college and opting out to create their own businesses, so it would be in AACC’s best interest to take advantage of this creative drive by offering them the necessary education to follow that path.

A Gallup student poll, a 24-question survey that measures the engagement, hope, entrepreneurial aspiration and financial literacy of students in fifth through 12th grades, showed in 2017 that 40 percent of those students plan to start their own businesses, while 24 percent are already learning how to run one.

With the rise of social media, young entrepreneurs are learning how to turn digital platforms into paid jobs.

20-year-old Luka Sabbat, who stars in ABC’s “Grown-ish,” ditched acting school, sought out an internship to build a fashion brand, and now models for Dolce & Gabbana. He boasts more than 1 million followers on Instagram.

21-year-old Eva Baker created a blog called TeensGotCents, which teaches teens to budget. Instead of choosing to go to a four-year school, she saved money going to a community college.

Baker now runs her own “Teenpreneur” conference to teach other Gen Zers how to plan and start a business too.

With early introduction to an entrepreneurship class, the possibilities are endless. Culinary students planning to work at high-end restaurants could end up running the eateries themselves.

On the other hand, undecided students could discover a new passion to teleport them from the whirlwind of wasted prerequisite credits to the land of possibilities, where they can paint a real future for themselves.

Millennial Marketing data shows that Gen Z contributes $143 billion a year in consumer spending and is set to comprise 40 percent of all shoppers by 2020.

To follow the trend, a recent report by the Center for Generational Kinetics showed 21 percent of Gen Zers already have savings accounts.

According to Dean of Student Success Bonnie Garrett, only students enrolled in the Entrepreneurial Studies Institute are required to take entrepreneurship classes at AACC.

But any students can take the courses as electives and can meet with an adviser to see if ESI fits into their program of study.

However, entrepreneurship has a place in all programs of study.

To stand true to AACC’s new marketing campaign this fall, which features slogans like “Reboot Yourself” and “Recharge Yourself,” the college should require all students to take an entrepreneurship class to expand their skills and soar outside the box.