Millennials are trending. Everyone is talking about this exciting, fresh generation and what they mean to the world at large. They’re exciting because they’re different. Take for example, the controversial fact that most millennials don’t believe in marriage or it’s certainly not a priority for them. This differs greatly to any other identified generation so far. This is one instance in which millennials come under judgement and there are many more. For example, many millennials continue to live under their parent’s roofs for a long while after having graduated from university or the like. Unlike generations before where at 21 years old you’re given the key to life.


There are a plethora of articles online that explore what millennials don’t do by comparison to older generations

South African millennials are considered slightly different to the US millennial group who are often studied and written about. The South African millennial group can be divided up quite specifically, as Lynette Dicey writes in the Financial Mail,


“Clearly, South African millennials have their own unique traits and can’t be compared to millennials in other countries. South African millennials should be divided into their own groups rather than international groupings.”


But what do millennials value and what do they need?


They need entrepreneurial opportunity

Entrepreneurship is extremely important to the millennial generation. They want to be self-funded successful business owners and they want to be in charge of their financial futures. They value sound financial advice and will seek it out from their peers and parents. They want to be financially independent and most of them regret not having learnt about saving their money earlier in life.


They value change, without it they won’t thrive

The change South African millennials want to see is within their country and environment. Most millennials are open to working within organisations that bring about change, whether that be a not for profit initiative or a company with a strong corporate social responsibility. They specifically want a meaningful career and to enjoy the tangible fruits of their labour. They are impressed by those who are working hard at creating change and they seek out these entities on social media predominantly.


They’re happy to not buy

South African millennials are money conscious and this means they’re always looking for alternatives to purchasing any costly goods that they could get away with not having. For instance, they’re happy to pay for access to the internet which in turn gives them access to things that would otherwise cost them such as music. Millennials would rather spend money on streaming music they want to enjoy than purchasing the album online or heading to the shops. There’s a new wave of what’s being called “the sharing economy” and this can be seen through organisations such as RentMyRide which is a private car rental service. This’ll take some time getting off the ground so in the interim new work-going millennials are spending their time online searching for private car sales by the owner in the hope to save on the mark up dealerships place on the vehicles.


They value health and wellness

South African millennials are interested in keeping fit and healthy. It’s become a bit of a taboo to smoke and drink too much and instead of socialising in pubs they’re now socialising in fitness centres. In fact, even if millennials are money conscious they’re happy to splurge on fitness equipment, gear and tracking devices. The average South African millennial eats smarter and spends an enormous amount of time researching how to optimise their health and wellbeing.

About The Author

I was born in the Eastern Cape, close to the waves. After getting my degree in Media, Communication and Culture, I knew it was time to make my way to a big city. Not wanting to leave the ocean, Cape Town was the natural choice for me. At first I thought the fast paced world of marketing. But I never forgot that what I'd always wanted to do was write. Now I'm a freelance writer, where my office is my bedroom and my platform is the World Wide Web. I live with my partner and our two beloved Great Danes. When not reading or writing you can probably find me on the beach or exploring nature trails.

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