Generation Z: Still in school, and already their own boss
TAMPA, Fla. - Connor Totten's bedroom isn't just his sanctuary at home. It's where he's creating his future in clothing design.
At only 14 years old, Totten is already crafting his professional life as an entrepreneur, marketing himself with business cards and Instagram, through his business, Connor Totten Designs.
"It's really exciting to see my clients come in for homecoming season. I did a bunch of custom work and it's exciting to see them wear the dresses be really happy with it," said Totten.
That's the general thinking of his generation, known as Generation Z -- born from the mid 1990's to the mid 2000's.
"They are far more inclined to start businesses themselves, have buying power, have opinions of their own and by 2020 will be about 40 percent of all consumers," said marketer Brittany Ward of Create Collabs.
Many in Gen Z lean towards creating businesses that are tech-savvy.
"They have had, their entire life, the internet available to them. They're incredibly technologically advanced in working with a variety of different technologies, different platforms," said Dr. Michael Fountain, the director for the Center for Entrepreneurship at the University of South Florida.
Two USF students created an app through the Student Innovation Incubator. It's called Stuby.
"It's kind of similar to a dating app in the way it interacts with swiping but it's strictly geared towards education and helping students find their perfect study buddy," explained 21-year-old William Rondon, one of the creators of Stuby.
"I love entrepreneurship. I always wanted to be an entrepreneur. I never wanted to work for someone," said Stuby co-creator Kyle Kaplan.
Generation Z sees their professional aspirations adding to the greater good.
"When you speak to Gen Z, it’s not only about charting their own path, which is important, but it's also about being socially responsible," said Dr. Fountain.
"One day, hoping to run a non-profit and hopefully start an organization where I can give back to the community," continued Rondon.
"Making a positive change in the world makes you feel like you've accomplished something in life," Kaplan offered.
Totten is already visualizing his career path.
"I want to be selling in stores and showing at New York Fashion Week. I really like the idea of working for myself and honestly with having your own business,” he added. “There's no limits.”