#3 Generation Z

01 July 2019

How is innovation impacting the way we live, think and work? We share our key takeaways from our conversation with Supa Network.

In our final episode^ from this series of our New Frontiers podcasts, we spoke to award-winning entrepreneur and founder of Supa Network, Bejay Mulenga. Supa Network aims to maximise Generation Z’s potential by partnering and connecting brands with young talent, and helping young entrepreneurs to scale up their start-ups.

What are our key takeaways from talking to Bejay?

Sean Duffy
Head of Technology, Media and Telecoms at Barclays

Building business experience is the key to success

At the age of just 14, Bejay spotted a gap in the market and started his own business – a tuck shop at his school. Having successfully pitched to his school’s senior leaders, head teacher and governors, and having built a team of student colleagues to help, he went on to franchise his tuck shop, working with over 100 schools and 5,000 students in just five years.

Less than 10 years later, and at the age of just 23, Bejay now works with large corporates on a daily basis, and claims that the confidence and skills he built through the business experience he gained as a teenager has been the key to his success.

Aiming to tackle issues of diversity and post-18 education, Supa Network was founded on this basis. By enabling students to develop their own pop-up stores and run large warehouses for several days, Supa Network puts building real-life business experience at the heart of its approach to putting Generation Z on the career ladder.

Generation Z are a powerful community

While it’s become a frequent phenomenon in the media to label and stereotype millennials, blurred generational lines have often led to Generation Z falling into the same category. However, this younger generation is very different. They are the first generation not affected by the conversations taking place more broadly in newspapers and in the discussions of other generations.

Instead, Generation Z are the most socially active generation, and the most passionate and vocal when fighting for things that matter to them. Forming an estimated 25% of the population, Generation Z are a very powerful community whose voice, especially when amplified through the ripple effect of social media, can become particularly loud and resonant.

You need to know your purpose

In today’s fast-paced and technological environment, the business climate is continuously evolving, and start-ups are constantly springing up. But what’s the best piece of advice for an entrepreneur?

  1. Know your purpose. Find your north star, know why you’re heading there, and lock into it. When you gravitate towards things that interest you, you’re more likely to be successful. 
  2. Be patient. It’s important to remember that you might have a success, then fail and have to take several steps back again, but agility and patience is what will pay dividends in the end.

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