Some of us were thrift shopping before Macklemore and Ryan Lewis made it cool. Who doesn’t love a good bargain? Especially the ones where you can ‘conveniently’ buy more than you ever would because “it’s just so cheap!” [insert happy dance in the middle of department store aisle].

Even though we feel like we can’t pass up some of those amazing prices, millennials have been thinking beyond the store shelves and into the companies’ values and inner workings. Conscious consumerism is on the rise.

Companies are feeling more pressure than ever to advertise their philanthropic efforts that positivity benefit society. Not only are they expected to have a cause, but also exhibit values all the way from production to employment to leadership and to the shelves.

Why has this become more of a trend? Who is driving it?

Those millennials with their saturated inboxes, plethora of notifications and big dreams… that’s who!

NAFTA has made strides in protecting free trade while legislation has been passed that protects the rights of the workers. But, Millennials have been pushing for more accountability within organizations and have shown more brand loyalty towards those that support values/causes they can get behind.

“In 2015, Nielson published its annual Global Corporate Sustainability Report. It indicated that, globally, 66% of consumers are willing to spend more on a product if it comes from a sustainable brand. Millennials gave an even more impressive showing, with 73% of surveyed millennials indicating a similar preference. Additionally, 81% of millennials even expect their favorite companies to make public declarations of their corporate citizenship.”

The cynic in me wants to say that this may be exploited as a simple marketing ploy for companies, but it turns out millennials are pretty good at seeing through ingenuine attempts at social responsibility… *cough Volkswagen cough Pepsi*.

With consumer loyalty at stake, companies have more incentive than ever to be personal and passionate about what they can do for social good. Millennials are pushing for more than a once a year charity gala for wealthy shareholders. They are heavily pursuing brands that have social responsibility/values built into their everyday operations and company mission.

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“More than eight in 10 Millennials (81%) expect companies to make a public commitment to good corporate citizenship, according to Horizon Media's Finger on the Pulse study.”

What does this mean for entrepreneurs?

Be passionate about what you do… not about the money you make. Invite your consumers to be a part of your organization in what you stand for and how you want to make a difference.  

The question we ask at Zuventurez (and that our panelists often ask to clarify) is “what problem are you solving?”

The question that millennial consumerism prompts us to ask is “Who is benefitting from the solution?”

Zuventurez has always been passionate about pursuing organizations that provide a positive social impact on society. We are consistently impressed and excited by the ideas and visions that our participants bring to the stage.  

It’s inspiring to see young entrepreneurs engaging with these questions to address something bigger than any product or company could on its own.  

We are seeing these industrious thinkers engaging in conversations that have the power to change nations and bring light to all corners of the earth.

To hear more about how APU students and alumni are building, dreaming, launching and growing movements to impact our social world and Kingdom of God, register to attend our FINAL PITCH event on Tuesday, March 20th @7PM in the UTTC.