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How do you become an entrepreneur? Research says travel can help

A man become an entrepreneur on a rock with his arms outstretched at sunset.

Millennials are a generation of achievers. We are a generation proven to be more successful at launching and operating businesses than our older peers. According to HSBC Private Bank the younger generation are employing more staff within their businesses, with entrepreneurs in their 20’s turning over a higher revenue than those in their 50s.

The creator of Facebook (Mark Zuckerberg), the founder of Airbnb (Brian Chesky), the founder of Spotify (Daniel Ek) and the founder of the media giant Mashable (Peter Cashmore) – all millennials. So, what is it about these cool AF millennials that’s transformed them into entrepreneurs? And most importantly, how can we get in on a slice of the action?

According to the popular Rich 20 something blog, the key traits of a successful millennial entrepreneur include confidence, being open-minded, creativity, determination and having strong people skills. All qualities which, according to recent research undertaken by Contiki, can be enhanced or attained by travel. American phycologist Adam Galinsky affirms the importance of these findings, with his academic research indicating character attributes such as being open-minded, goal orientated and creative all changing as a result of travel…

Berlin girl

That’s right, travelling doesn’t only involve topping up the tan, getting some killer insta snaps and eating a shit load of yummy food. It’s actually pretty damn beneficial to millennials career prospects AND can be the stepping stone to get you one step closer to running your future empire. With our findings unveiling that 63% of travellers indicated that travel has improved their employment, travel really can help you become an entrepreneur.

So, let’s just take a moment to get to grips with some of these entrepreneurial qualities and find out exactly how travel impacts on them….


A key characteristic of entrepreneurship is confidence – Whether it’s having confidence in your own abilities or exerting confidence which increases other people’s faith in you, it’s an imperative part of success and a key trait amongst travellers. Travel enables you to push yourself out of your comfort zone, make new friends and find you bearings in completely unknown surroundings. With 75% of travellers indicating that they are more confident and can perform efficiently on many different tasks, it’s clear travel really does have a greatly positive effect on millennials confidence levels.

Open Minded

Being an entrepreneur is all about having ideas, seeing opportunities and taking beneficial risks, so being open minded is essential. With travel enabling you to experience new cultures, meet new people and understand various perspectives it’s no wonder 7% or travellers are more likely to think outside the box and 73% of travellers indicate that they are more likely to have increased willingness to take risks or accept new challenges.


Lisbon tiles, group of friends


Thinking outside of the box also lends itself to creativity – It’s all about coming up with an original idea and being one step ahead of the game. So, immersing yourself into different countries arts and cultures is absolutely a great way to enhance your creativity levels. Professor Adam Galinsky’s research published by the American Psychological Association proves that individuals who have lived abroad in their lifetime tend to be more creative, whilst the more countries in which someone has lived, the higher the degree of their creativity. Does this mean work transfer? Gap year? Non-stop travelling? Maybe…


Entrepreneurs are fuelled by ambition, they are determined to succeed and do not believe in failure. Challenges, difficult situations, the need to adapt and find alternatives all arise on every traveller’s journey. And the impact of dealing with these issues is evident in our research which shows 62% of travellers indicating that travel has increased their tenacity when faced with difficult situations, 25% of travellers are more likely to set goals for themselves and regularly achieve them and 71% of travellers indicate that travel has helped them learn to adapt and be resourceful in anticipated situations. And so, the millennial generation of entrepreneurs continues to grow.


Strong People Skills

Entrepreneurs have strong communication skills, imperative for selling a brand, motivating employees and building contacts. The power of people skills is something which is greatly improved when you push yourself out of your comfort zone and interact with others you may not come across in your daily life. Meeting people is one of the greatest parts of travelling, and making friends becomes second nature after a few days on the road. With travellers 42% more likely to actively seek out new friendships and 12% more likely to be willing and open to making new friends, there’s no doubt travel is the key to increasing communication.

Italy girls