Young Entrepreneurs and Investors

By Frank-Jürgen Richter

March 29, 2022

The millionaire and the billionaire clubs around the world are currently being filled by young entrepreneurs and investors. Topping this list is Mark Zuckerberg, who founded Facebook when he was just 19 years old. Now the renamed Meta Platforms Inc. employs thousands of young enthusiasts and is worth more than $581 billion.

Given the proliferation of technology, coupled with the great young minds at play around the world – we are at the cusp of something truly magnificent. Things that could change the way we live our lives, as proven by the pandemic.

This and many more such topics will be discussed in the upcoming Horasis Global Meeting, that proposes ways to work towards the new era of peace and sustainability. The meeting will be a virtual one day event, that will bring together global leaders, who with their vast experience will try to propose ways for a sustainable and inclusive post-pandemic recovery.

Young Entrepreneurs

With social media and other technology platforms available to the budding youth, there is now possibilities for instant fame and recognition. This also provides young entrepreneurs the ability to close the wealth gap.

Young entrepreneurs bring young blood and fresh ways of looking at things into the business world. Take the case of Elon Musk who at a young age of 31 founded SpaceX, with the aim to someday make affordable rockets to take people to the ‘Moon and Mars’.

Young achievers are also making a lot of money, which puts them at contending positions to other industrial bigwigs.

Sam Bankman-Fried, a crypto trader is worth $22.5 billion. He founded a growing startup called FTX, an online platform that allows people to buy and sell cryptocurrencies. What also separates him from the rest of the growing crop of young millionaires and billionaires is that he regularly donates a significant portion of his earnings to high-impact charities. He has already donated millions to animal welfare organizations along with donating millions to the Biden campaign. He eventually plans to donate most of his wealth.

Then in the list we have Evan Spiegel and Bobby Murphy, co-founders of Snapchat, who are combined worth $29 billion. The young founders have pledged to donate up to 13,000,000 shares of Class A common stock over the next 15 to 20 years to the Snap Foundation. This donation could go up to millions of dollars as the price of stock rises overtime.

The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative has also set up an annual grant making program, the CZI Community Fund that awards grants to organizations in San Mateo County that focuses on socioeconomic development of the society such as housing, healthcare, education, job, and career skills; while encouraging the active participation of people in civic society matters, giving people the power to shape their lives and communities.

In December 2021, the fund committed $7 million in grants to 75 organizations working to build equity and opportunity in communities across the San Mateo County.

Investors Also Willing

Young investors are also changing the rule of the game by investing in out-of-the-box business ideas and innovation that not only has the potential to become big, but also do good for the society.

Socially responsible investing and impact investing have become mainstream and young investors are more interested in investing in young startups that are viable and also address environmental, social and governance issues – missing among many large multinationals.

Below are some of the financial ventures that are changing the world through social impact investing.

  • The Good Fashion Fund invests in supply chain technologies that address the environmental and social challenges in the apparel supply chain. It invests in promising circular innovation and technologies in the textile and apparel production sector in Asia, particularly India, Bangladesh, and Vietnam.
  • The Global Good Fund identifies high-potential business leaders and accelerates their potential through a year-long virtual fellowship. The fund has “developed 105 entrepreneurs who are now accelerating their enterprise growth in 30 countries and beyond. Over 2,400 high-potential entrepreneurs from more than 100 countries applied for one of 12 Fellowship positions in 2018.”
  • Meanwhile, there are also venture capital firms, such as the 1863 Ventures that facilitate the market entry and high growth for potential black and brown entrepreneurs. Most of the black and brown entrepreneurs lack access to capital to develop their business and this is what the fund wants to address.
  • Acumen Fund invests in sustainable businesses that deliver critical goods and services to the world’s poor. In 2019, the fund invested about $70 million in East African companies that are working to deliver affordable and renewable energy to mostly poor consumers in the region. Most recently, the fund closed a first-of-its-kind equity funding valued at $58 million, supporting African agribusinesses that help smallholder farmers adapt to climate change.

There are many such examples of wealth being distributed and good being done by new age investment funds and young entrepreneurs. As we begin our recovery scenario, it becomes imperative for us to develop and invest on the youth who are geared to think in more sustainable, inclusive, and equitable ways.

Photo Caption: We must harness the power of the youth. Photo by Austin Distel on Unsplash.