Contrary to popular belief, entrepreneurship is not as prominent among millennials as the public opinion may assume, due to the rise of superstar entrepreneurs like Mark Zuckerberg, Evan Spiegel, Brian Chesky, John Zimmer, and even music tycoon and Spotify founder Daniel Ek. In a study done in 2014, the U.S. Small Business Administration reported that only about 2% of millennials were self-employed. In a study done by The Kauffman Foundation the past decade, it was reported that the average age of an entrepreneur was 40 years old and that 75% of entrepreneurs worked for a company for more than 6 years before venturing out on their own. What these statistics show is that entrepreneurship is not the game of dropping out of college and creating a unicorn tech enterprise, but often the slow and steady race of building up job experience and a reputation before taking the leap of faith.
However, increasingly entrepreneurship is growing in the music industry. Besides the rise in independent artists and companies like EMPIRE that support them, young professionals on the business side are also stepping out on their own. For Neil Dominique, artist manager of acts like Bryson Tiller, Pardison Fontaine, and Ryan Trey as well as a label owner for his own company #JUSTAREGULARDAY, his journey in the music business started out as working for one of its most successful entrepreneurs to this day, Sean “Diddy” Combs. Through his work at Diddy’s channel, REVOLT, Dominique was able to get key experience in the music business. “I wore various hats there but towards the end of my time there I was focusing on building REVOLT TV as someone responsible for making sure the network and artist relationship were the strongest. Then I shifted into programing with REVOLT LIVE, and making sure the full mission and dream of Sean Combs were executed daily.” Over time, however, Dominique felt the pull of working for himself. He notes, “my reason for leaving was I felt I needed to grow. I was blessed with a great opportunity to chase something I always dreamt about. I felt that if I didn’t I would be put in a box where I wouldn’t fully be able to be as creative as I wanted to be.”