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Reinventing the concept of ‘financial literacy’?

More young people consider ‘start ups’

Darcie Ortique ow contributor | 3/5/2020, midnight

Millennials are the modern-day entrepreneurs. Research from a 2014 study with Bentley University suggests, ‘millennials sense that career success will require them to be more nimble, independent and entrepreneurial than past generations.” Now, the vast majority of millennials are either working to start-up their own business(es), or gathering the fundamental tools and resources necessary, in order to do so. According to a 2014 interview with Fred Truffile, director of Bentley University’s Entrepreneurial Studies program,“Millennials are eager to make their own pathways because they suspect the traditional ones may lead nowhere,” Truffile said.

Twenty-five-year-old Jayde Duncan of Baltimore, Md. and founder of Jayde’s Jammin’ Snowballs, recalls how her interest in pursuing a snowball business sparked as a adolescent, has contributed to much of her economic success today. What started as a fun and profitable summer past time, later turned into a LLC and helped to pave Duncan’s path to business management, entrepreneurship and philanthropy in her community.

“I needed a job. I needed some money and I needed it bad because I had to pay for basketball gear,” Duncan said. “I needed to pay for AAU and travel,” Duncan added, as she recalled her childhood memories of becoming a talented basketball player.

After graduating high school, Duncan went on to play for Morgan State University’s (MSU) women’s basketball team and she continued to expand her business while home from college during the off-season, to support herself throughout college.

“I think in my generation now, everybody wants to get money to buy things…to look cute and to be flashy kind of thing, but when I had [started] my business, I had to put money back into my business, with the money I just profited,” Duncan added. Her perception of money as a rookie business owner, separated her financial mentality from her counterparts at an early age.

Norman Oates, a professional photographer, is known throughout the state of Connecticut and is a hot commodity far beyond Hartford County. Oates is a native of Washington D.C. and despite being a 30-year-old husband and father of two, his photography LLC has landed him as a 2020 nominee for the 17th Annual Best of Hartford Magazine entrepreneur feature. However, Oates’ road to financial literacy and entrepreneurial success was no walk in the park. Oates earned his Associates Degree in Liberal Studies from the University of Hartford and later withdrew from dental hygiene school, only to realize his calling was photography and college didn’t coincide with his knack for capturing moments.

“I also went to school because I was told I need to go to school,” Oates said. “I had no idea what I was doing there,” Oates added…. “Which is probably one of the worse decisions I ever made; spending that money and not knowing what you’re doing is probably the most expensive money in the world when you have no plan behind why you’re in college.”

Oates transitioned from jobs in retail and telecommunications before he decided to take a leap of faith and pursue his own business, full-time. Oates said he “paid off” $75,000.00 in debt, in 14 months. “I started in January 2018 and I paid everything off in March 2019,” he explained. Oates’ debt consisted of student loans, car notes, repossessed vehicles, credit card debt, many of the same burdens most millennials are carrying today. Oates proudly explains that his monthly expenses are a lot lower now and utilizing his hobby and love for photography, has helped depreciate miscellaneous financial expenses.