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|Tuesday, October 22, 2013|
BY MIKE GREEN | OB BLOGGER
It’s a simple economic formula: Gen X + Gen Y = Gen E
Call them “Generation Entrepreneur.” Gen E is comprised of innovators, inventors, intrapreneurs and entrepreneurs, multimedia content providers, branded bloggers and crafts makers who range in ages from seasoned Gen Xers to adolescent Millennials. They are self-selected Do-It-Yourself risk-takers who believe pursuit of the American Dream is a journey through innovation and entrepreneurship.
Members of Gen E are smart, creative, critical-thinking, problem-solving, tech-savvy, resilient and passionate innovators who seek to turn their dreams into goals with timelines and profit-driven deliverables. You can meet them at pitch competitions, incubators, accelerators, Hackathons, Startup Weekends, Maker Faires and BlogWorld conferences. Inside, they all burn with the fuel of inspired ingenuity.
Despite a broad range in Gen E ages and multi-cultures, a common thread unites them: They don’t subscribe to a 40-hour work week replete with repetitive robotic ritualistic tasks. Each day is a new opportunity to apply their skills, knowledge and teamwork to overcome challenges that have measurable results.
Talton Davis, 33, is a mother of two and founder of Soapbox Theory, a boutique shop of greeting cards and merchandise primarily based on black culture and the idea that everyone has something to say. She started her business in 2001 as a student in college pursuing a degree in Mechanical Engineering, which she achieved at Portland State University in 2005.
“I was looking for a job and realized that a lot of the traditional mechanical engineering jobs were not going to be a good fit for me,” Talton Davis said in a telephone interview. “Because I had always been on the creative side; even in the engineering classes, the designs I did looked more like a designer did them, as far as the rounded corners and user-friendliness, as opposed to just working properly. They worked properly, as well, but more toward the user experience.”
Talton Davis credits Micro Enterprise Services of Oregon (MESO) with assistance and mentoring that helped transition her talent and passion from profitable hobby into a full-fledged startup business. After launch, she met her husband, Cleo Davis, owner of Screw Loose Studio. Together, they’ve juggled two side-by-side enterprises, two small children and two fulltime workloads that defy proverbial banker’s hours.
Talton Davis is determined her daughters will follow in the educational pathway that provided her with the foundation upon which she has built her business: STEM (science, technology, engineering and math).
“I’ve always enjoyed science and math. They were my favorite subjects, even as young as elementary school.” Davis said. “Having a more analytical background has helped me to be able to see what kinds of things are working and changes that need to be made.”
Talton Davis represents a rapidly growing landscape of lifestyle entrepreneurs across America who approach today’s smaller, stagnant job market seeking opportunities to create their own jobs.
Thomas Friedman expounded on this notion in his March 30 New York Times Oped column titled, “Need a Job? Invent it.” Quoting Tony Wagner, the author of “Creating Innovators: The Making of Young People Who Will Change the World,” Friedman writes:
“… knowledge is available on every Internet-connected device, what you know matters far less than what you can do with what you know. The capacity to innovate — the ability to solve problems creatively or bring new possibilities to life — and skills like critical thinking, communication and collaboration are far more important than academic knowledge.”
In his new book, “What’s the Future of Business: Changing the Way Businesses Create Experiences,” Brian Solis drops this data bomb:
Only 7% of Gen Y works for a Fortune 500 Company, as startups dominate this demographic.
Solis’ revelation dovetails with a body of work produced by one of the largest foundations studying entrepreneurship trends in America.
The Kauffman Foundation reports that, since 1980, nearly all net new job growth in America was due to startups.
In 2004, the Pew Charitable Trust released a report titled, “Economic Mobility: Is the American Dream Alive and Well?” The overall findings of the report revealed that men in their thirties in 1974 had a median income of $40,000 while men of the same age in 2004 had a median income of $35,000. Adjusted for inflation, the drop of 12 percent from one generation to the next was unprecedented.
For Gen E, the writing is on the wall: Create your own job.
The Davis family exemplifies a national trend toward freelancers, entrepreneurs and independent workers, who are projected to be the majority of the workforce as early as 2030.
Over the next decade, creating jobs may be the job for which every student must be prepared.
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Produced by the Oregon Business marketing department
When the Portland-based manufacturing company Glass Alchemy, Ltd. was first nominated for an Oregon State University Austin Family Business Excellence in Family Business award in 2004, husband-and-wife team Henry Grimmett and Susan Webb-Grimmett, were honored and optimistic about their chances of winning.
Some employers have embraced the use of employment arbitration agreements as a way to manage and mitigate the rising costs, risks and liabilities associated with employment-related claims. Historically, employment arbitration agreements require employees to present employment-related claims, such as employment discrimination, wrongful discharge, harassment, or claims for wages or compensation to an arbitrator, in lieu of proceeding to court.
Produced by the Oregon Business marketing department
Boly:Welch was founded in 1986 based on a close connection between Diane Boly and Pat Welch. The two had worked together at another recruitment firm and shared certain core values: passion for their work, a sense of humor, a commitment to their community and a desire to create a healthy, nurturing work environment.
Dunn Carney will host its annual Ag Summit on Jan. 10, 2014 at the Holiday Inn in Wilsonville, OR. We are very pleased to welcome Dr. Sherri Noxel, Director of the Austin Family Business Program at Oregon State University College of Business as our Keynote speaker.
The Naa Amerley Palm Education ("NAPE") Foundation recently awarded two more Lane Powell/Lee Nusich Scholarships to deserving students attending institutions of higher learning in Ghana. Including the most recent recipients, a total of 48 scholarships have been awarded to Ghanaian university students since the scholarship foundation started in January 2009.
Unitus Community Credit Union, a Portland-based credit union with more than 80,000 members, has announced the addition of Brian Alfano as Vice President of Member Services. Alfano will provide strategic leadership over Unitus’ member experience to ensure consistency across delivery channels, including branch operations, member support, and products and services.