Entrepreneurship in America is strong. People are starting businesses in droves. If you count yourself amongst this group, or are considering jumping into the big startup pool, here are some recent and current trends you should be aware of.
According to a report from the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM), the United States now has 27 million people who can count themselves as entrepreneurs. That means that almost 14% of the working population in America are starting or running new businesses. While this particular study has only been going for 16 years, the current year’s number of 27 million is a record high.
Despite the fact that the U.S. is a developed nation, with a strong economy, where it is relatively easy to find employment (when compared to other less developed countries anyway), for the first time, over half the working population thinks starting a business is a good idea.
People with Plans
The same study also shows that American entrepreneurs tend to put their money with their mouth is. Of the people who say that they plan to start a business in the next three years, 80% end up following through with some kind of positive entrepreneurial action, like registering a company name. Not only that, but nearly a quarter of U.S. entrepreneurs say that they plan to employ as many as 20 people within five years.
Entrepreneurs are Thinking Positive
Not only is entrepreneurship itself strong, but people seem to be starting businesses for encouraging reasons. Among the 24 innovation driven economies that were tracked in the report, the U.S. had the highest number of entrepreneurs who were motivated by opportunity. That means American entrepreneurs, more so than in any other country, are starting businesses because they believe they can raise either their income or their level of independence.
Everyone’s a Marketer
Marketing and entrepreneurship are experiencing a ton of cross-over. This means marketers are becoming entrepreneurs, and entrepreneurs are becoming marketers. The implications here are that marketing has become one of the most important skillsets for those wishing to start a business. If you want to build a company, you’re going to have to be able to get out there and market that company on the internet. So, naturally, the people who already possess marketing skills are finding the transition to being an entrepreneur an organic one. It also means entrepreneurs without a marketing background are having to give themselves a crash course.
Fueled by Freelancers
Many of today’s entrepreneurs start out as companies of one. But that doesn’t mean they are stuck doing everything themselves. Solo entrepreneurs are turning to freelancers or contract workers to help them fill in the gaps in their own knowledge, or to delegate tasks where they can stand to be a little bit more hands off. This is usually less expensive for the entrepreneur than hiring a full-time employee. It’s also helped to build a freelance economy, with startup websites helping to connect entrepreneurs and freelancers, and many freelancers eventually turning into entrepreneurs themselves.
Whether it’s ride-sharing with Uber and Lyft, apartment sharing with Airbnb, or co-working spaces like WeWork or NextSpace, the current entrepreneur culture has shown a willingness to collaborate and work together, with everybody benefitting in the process. These businesses also tend to have altruistic or social goals. Expect to see more of these sharing economy companies in the next several years, as millennials especially tend to put a low value on individual ownership.
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