Hong Kong Gen Z More Confident Than Their Parents

Forget different motivations and expectations. The latest EF Ambition Research urged companies to get ready for a more ambitious Hong Kong Gen Z (18 to 30-year-olds).

The research was created by Entrepreneur First (EF), the global talent investor backed by the co-founder of LinkedIn, Reid Hoffman, and Greylock. It explored the levels of ambition and challenges of Gen Z’s across the globe.

The results showed that 64% of Gen Z respondents believed that they are more ambitious than their parents. A majority also said that they will achieve or exceed their profession/career (61%) and life as a whole (65%).

Hong Kong Gen Z’s also see themselves as entrepreneurial. Over half (54%) relate to the typical values of an entrepreneur to some extent. Thirty-two percent felt they somewhat do and 14% saying not at all/do not know. Fifty-nine percent want to start up their own companies, while 57% said that it was the only way to meet their ambitions.

“It is positive to see that Hong Kong respondents have an ambitious spirit in them. Individuals who have the ambition to work hard will become leaders in their field and create something impactful. We feel that there are so many talented individuals in Hong Kong waiting for their potential to be unlocked and Entrepreneur First is dedicated to help these individuals realize their dreams," said Lavina Tien, general manager, Entrepreneur First Hong Kong.

Hong Kong Gen Z's have similar ambition levels to other countries, including France, Germany, India, the U.K., and Singapore. But, Hong Kong Gen Z's scored the lowest (65%) when asked whether they will achieve life’s ambition. It is behind France (73%), Germany (71%), India (84%), the U.K. (68%) and Singapore (70%).

Financial woes remain a significant challenge. Forty percent stated that there is a risk that they might be worse off financially. Thirty-nine percent said they lacked the capital to pursue their ambitions. Meanwhile, a fear of failure is keeping 31% from reaching for their life's ambitions.

An apparent lack of role models is another issue. More than half (54%) of respondents in Hong Kong were unable to name a high-value entrepreneur, which corresponds with their values. This was behind India (59%) and Germany (57%). However, Hong Kong still scored better than France (44%), the U.K. (24%) and Singapore (38%).

“Entrepreneurs over the last few years may have felt it has been a tough fight because the competition was usually well funded or well marketed. When a downturn comes, only the best will survive and the playing field would all of a sudden feel a lot more leveled. For those entrepreneurs considering to start (or restart) their idea during this time, the market is wide open. For those entrepreneurs who survived the downturn to tell their story, they would become role models for the rest," said Roland Yau, managing partner at Cocoon Ignite Ventures, Hong Kong.