Gen Z as Founders: Different founders, different principles, different business priorities

Characteristics of Generation Z – different business priorities, different principles

Many of today’s founders and business leaders are starting to see the next generation, Generation Z or Gen Z, graduate and enter the workforce. With little in common with the previous generation, it is time to take a closer look at the next generation of leaders and founders.


What is Generation Z?

An illustration of the generations from baby boomers to gen z

Or, who are the people that make up Generation Z? Gen Z is the generation born between 1995 and the early 2010s. They are the so-called digital natives, having grown up with little to no recollection of a world without the internet, cell phones and social media. With over 2 billion of them worldwide, Gen Z represents 32% of the world’s population. Is this reason enough to take a closer look at Gen Z and their growing impact as founders? Most definitely yes.

What are the characteristics of Generation Z?

A generation can be best understood when looking at the many factors that influence their lives, especially during their formative years.

Growing up Gen Z

Excerpt from the WP Engine Study

Gen Z tech-savviness, connectivity, authenticity, and a desire to have a positive impact on the world that will most certainly influence behavior, technology, and society in radically new and exciting ways.

Born in the mid 1990s or after, Gen Z’s youth has been defined by a world where the only constant was change. Gen Z’s outlook on their future and the future of the world, their attitudes, choices and tendencies are defined by the rapidly changing world they grew up and live in.

Gen Z and Technology

66% of Gen Z would rather have unlimited access to the webthan a college degree

While Millennials are considered to be digital pioneers, Generation Z are the first generation of digital natives. First-hand witnesses of the rapid increase of technology in their homes and hands as well as the rise of social media, Gen Z grew up with instant access to information, being “always on”, constant tech innovation, and this generation embraces this. With this came access to knowledge and entertainment, as well as screen time overload resulting in isolation and underdeveloped social skills.

Gen Z and Money

75% of Gen Z are more likely to buy a product if they can customize it.

Drastically different from the economic boom Millennials grew up in, Gen Z is shaped by the economical and political pressures their families, communities and countries faced. As a result, Generation Z characteristics are that they’re highly attuned to their spending, and an interest in smart investments and stable jobs.

Gen Z and Community

Excerpt from the Ranstad survey

87% of Gen Z say it is important that the company they work for gives back to the community.

As a generation, a Gen Z characteristic is a strong willingness to stand up for their beliefs. Movements that benefit their community, their country and the world are organized and driven by Gen Z. From Fridays for Future to LGBTQ rights and March for our Lives, many of us have heard of the actions Gen Z is taking to improve our world.

Gen Z as Founders

The oldest members of Generation Z are around 28 years old. While it may seem that it is too early to look at how their careers may unfold, a generational goal is already becoming visible as Gen Z are entering the working world:

65% of Gen Zers hope to be running their own businesses
or already are.

Data and surveys of Generation Z show that, even at their young age, many have an entrepreneurial spirit, looking to turn their original ideas into solutions that solve local or global challenges.


According to Forbes, Generation Z’s ability to use self-teaching tactics, a result of their tech savvy and community-oriented attitude, allows them to tap into the knowledge of more experienced entrepreneurs, as well as share and swap ideas and approaches with other entrepreneurs and founders. This mindset of collaboration over competition and technology as a means to access knowledge takes them onto a trajectory for success. 


As more and more Gen Zers graduate and become working professionals, the amount of startups across Europe and the world will increase at top speed as Gen Z founders introduce the next generation of companies from sustainability to fintech.

Key Search Helps Gen Z Founders Hire their Leaders

When it’s time to find the leaders for your scaling startup, it can seem impossible to know where to start. This is where you turn to experts to ensure that all needs and interests are met — ensuring that founders, existing leaders and other stakeholders feel confident in the hiring decisions and their direct impact on the future of the organization. 

An experienced executive search firm can help you during this crucial time when your startup has started to scale and a larger team is needed. The experience of a recruitment expert who brings their network, methodology, and insight will save time and effort in the executive search process, and ultimately will help you find the perfect fit for your startup’s needs.

About the Author