Global Entrepreneurship Week 2023: Meet the teenager who is harnessing the power of youth culture to drive social change

In celebration of Global Entrepreneurship Week, we spoke to our client Jenk Oz about his experience of entrepreneurship and why there is no time like the present when it comes to starting your own business. Jenk is a London-based entrepreneur, public speaker and social change activist, as well as the Founder & CEO of Thred Media – a publishing, consulting and production company aimed at Generation Z (those aged 16-25).

In 2013, at the age of 8, Jenk’s journey began with a ‘show and tell’ presentation at school. This led to the creation of his first website concept, iCoolKid, which after 3 years of building, began to properly take shape.

What started as a way of sharing interesting snippets about his hobbies with his peers soon evolved into a platform for young people worldwide to share their personal stories and shed light on a wide range of social issues.

Then, in 2019, a significant shift occurred as iCoolKid was rebranded as Thred Media. In doing so, Jenk reoriented the content whilst targeting a slightly older demographic: “In July 2020 we hard launched Thred.com – a whole new website that was 100% social change focused.”

Interestingly, the young entrepreneur finds that the everyday continues to surprise and inspire him, which he puts down to the novelty of building and scaling a business at such a young age: “The art of sales may stay the same, but the platforms, content and engagement tactics are constantly progressing into unchartered territory. It’s very tough to keep up but it’s also what makes it so interesting!”

Whilst expected in the early stages of a venture, obstacles have been abundant and Jenk stresses that constant reassessment and the flexibility to change course can be crucial: “There is no road without bumps at any point in the build out and growth process, so you have to settle into the idea and embrace them when they come along, and they will!”

As for advice for budding entrepreneurs, Jenk stresses that there is no better time than right now to kickstart your dreams: “There has never been a more opportune moment to embark on your entrepreneurial journey. Thanks to the transformative impact of cloud computing, user-friendly website builders like Wix and Square Space and the expansive reach of social media, Gen Z can now kickstart a business from the comfort of their own space within minutes. The cost of failure has plummeted to a mere fraction of what it was a mere decade ago. So, don’t be afraid to take that first step, learn from setbacks, pivot, and forge ahead.”

Additionally, he says the art of upskilling has never been more important but at the same time readily available: “Empowering yourself with new skills or shifting the focus of your existing ones has never been more straightforward, economical, or convenient. The digital landscape is teeming with resources. Furthermore, the private sector is rallying to provide vital, non-curriculum-related content. This is evident in the surge of grants, pitch competitions, webinars on upskilling, and entrepreneurship conferences tailored to Gen Z.”

And Jenk’s vision for the future?

The immediate focus for the business is very much geared towards revenue growth and expanding into the US market, as Jenk says: “We are focused on revenue growth and expansion for the next few years. Our core market is the UK and Europe, but we want to complete an investor raise this quarter and open an office in New York to properly service and grow our US-based portfolio of clients.”

Jenk is a member of the Google Z-Council, Oracle for Startups, Microsoft Surface young entrepreneur team and The Knowledge Society (TKS). Additionally, he has taken part in two fellowships: Civics Unplugged and Preparing Global Leaders Forum – PGLF by Sam Potolicchio, US.

More information and contact:

https://www.jenkoz.com/

https://www.instagram.com/jenk.oz/

jenk@thredmedia.com

Thred is a website powered by a writing team that covers all aspects of youth culture seen through the lens of social change. Available in 17 different languages, it currently reaches 350k+ young adults worldwide and has won awards such as Next Gen Media Company 2021 and the Vodafone Small Business Award. Find out more at: https://thred.com/

Thred Media is where Jenk houses his consulting business with a focus on helping brands, agencies and research houses better understand Gen Z beliefs, behaviours and upcoming consumer trends. Find out more at: https://www.thredmedia.com/

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