Key Challenges: Sparks, the Start Up Segment

To follow up on last week’s blog post about the Stampeders segment, today I will address some of the other responses we heard when we asked Millennials to share their opinions about the biggest challenges facing their generation. We asked this question in an online survey of 1,073 Canadian Millennials on October 2012. The conclusions we share here are based on results from just those who fell into our Sparks segment.


In light of an article published in the financial post on Monday I decided that the next segment I cover would be this segment that is well suited to operating their own start-up companies, the sparks.

Like this article describes, this is a group of twenty-somethings who are often pushed out the competitive job market and find better luck relying on their own entrepreneurial spirit and starting their own companies.

This is a good example of the Sparks segment at work; a group who typically has trouble fitting into a culture structured by another generation, they strive to find ways to express themselves and fulfill their own personal ambitions.

It is difficult for Sparks to adopt the typical nine to five work, office culture. They strive to find a job where they can express themselves and fulfill their own personal ambitions while still finding time to enjoy themselves and do the things they like to do.

This is why the start up works well with people in this segment. They can create their own work culture and make sure to fit in their personal interests.

This group struggles after leaving home in “learning to live with less.” The cost of living affects many people in this group who work in minimum-wage jobs and struggle to succeed in a competitive employment market.

Which Millennial segment do you fit into? Try our quiz and find out!

As one of the more successful of the segments to make it out of their parents home, even on a temporary basis, the Sparks are very aware of the high costs of housing, transportation and food. Employers must consider that this segment is largely critical of the baby boom generation who have worked hard, but still feel entitled to their successes. This is a generation that does work hard and feel that they have been limited by other outside forces that they cannot control.

It is of note for marketers who seek to target this group that they are largely overwhelmed by all of the life choices they face, for this group, simplicity is key.

And Policy Makers, watch out! You have got a big job to do in making this group happy, they are concerned about the big issues like climate change, cost of education, and creating job opportunities.

In gaining a solid understanding of this complex and largely unsatisfied segment older generations can begin to understand where to start and how to work with the Sparks segment.

Read more about the Millennial generation…


Jaime is an Analyst at Abacus Data and a thought leader for its Canadian Millennials research practice.

Contact Jaime Morrison:

T: 613-232-2806



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