Millennial Entrepreneurs Drawn To Starting Craft Businesses

By Dmitriy Shapiro
The Daily Telegram, Adrian, Mich.

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Craft-focused businesses have been making a comeback in small towns across the country. And many of these local, craft-focused startups are owned by millennials.

ADRIAN

In almost any developing town one looks at today, officials can point at the shiny new brewpub or independent coffee shop in their downtown.

These, as well as independent craft distilleries, bakeries and other crafts have been making a comeback after nearly being wiped out for more than half a century.

Not just in Seattle or New York, these craft-focused businesses have been making a comeback in small towns across the country.

This rebirth has been happening in Lenawee County: Maggard Razors in Adrian, which produces its own line of craft grooming products; Cotton Brewing Co. in Adrian; Tecumseh Brewing Co.; and the future Atlas Distilling Co. in Clinton are just some of these businesses.

And almost all of these local, craft-focused startups are owned by millennials.

James Hill, instructor of business management at Siena Heights University, said that he doesn’t see any difference in aspirations from previous generations of entrepreneurs but that today’s young entrepreneurs seem to see fewer reasons not to take that kind of a risk or the same roadblocks.

“I was entrepreneurial then, and I think people are still entrepreneurial now. The difference is they’re starting in their 20s rather than in their 30s and 40s,” Hill said. “Are they better risk-takers or more willing to take the chance? Maybe they don’t have as many choices as we did.”

Hill said when he left college, there were plenty of job opportunities.

“And there wasn’t as much competition as there is today. Today there is,” he said. “Not only are the graduates, recent graduates, that I work with competing against other graduates here in Michigan or the U.S. … but the people in China, Eastern Europe, Russia — they have the same technology, they have the same skills, they have the same knowledge. That’s who many of them are competing with.”

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