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Business School alumni and founder of Afterpay calls on millennials to leave a legacy

12 Sep 2017

CEO and Co-Founder of Afterpay, Business School alumni Nick Molnar, has applauded the “entrepreneurial spirit” of millennials and called on them to use these skills to “leave the legacy they deserve to leave”.

Speaking at TedxYouth@Sydney, Mr Molnar attributed his entrepreneurial spirit and resulting success to being part of the millennial generation (those born between the late 1970s and the late 1990s), which also makes up 75% of Afterpay’s customers.

“Because millennials were at the forefront of this technology revolution, we were the early adopters, we were a really highly demanded resource, so we’ve never had a problem getting work,” said Mr Molnar. “Our upbringing in this economic environment has perfectly fostered a confident entrepreneurial spirit.”

Mr Molnar graduated with a Commerce degree from the Business School and went on to co-found Afterpay, an easy-to-use payment process that allows shoppers to buy a product immediately and pay it off in 4 equal fortnightly instalments.

“It (Afterpay) costs the customer nothing extra, we pay the retailer straight away and we take all the risk,” said Mr Molnar. “We’ve grown really quickly which has been largely driven by millennials. A bit over two years ago, when we started, we had less than 10 retailers.”

Mr Molnar and Anthony Eisen co-founded Afterpay in 2014 and it was successfully listed on the Australian Securities Exchange in 2016. Since listing, it has grown to 1 million customers and 7000 retailers and now processes 15 per cent of Australia’s total online fashion sales.

“When you think about all the businesses which have shifted society in recent times, they’ve all be driven by millennials. Whether it’s the social media revolution, the shared economy revolution, the music streaming or video streaming revolution, they’re all driven by millennials,” said Mr Molnar.

According to the self-labelled “serial entrepreneur”, millennials have the power to shape the future because they are early adopters of technology.

“Over the next five years, the world is going to be faced with incredibly important decisions. Decisions such as climate change, inequality, an ageing population,” said Mr Molnar “Guess who’s going to have to make all these decisions? We are. The millennials.”

“We’re coming into our perfect point of power and the world is trusting us with their future,” said Mr Molnar. “It’s time to stop being a generation that gets written off and become the generation that rewrites history,” said Mr Molnar.

TEDxSydney is an offshoot of US-based TED talks, founded in 1984, which presents the world's leading thinkers and doers sharing their most important ideas in an 18-minute talk. Since 2012, the University of Sydney has been partnering with TEDxSydney, the annual event of ‘ideas worth spreading’.

The University of Sydney is the principal partner of TEDxYouth@Sydney, which showcases speakers between the ages of 16 to 26 who are ‘shaping the future’.