2014 is already in full swing, and several trends for entrepreneurs have emerged. In fact, Virgin Group's Richard Branson proclaimed 2014 the "year of the entrepreneur." Here's what you need to know moving forward.
Entrepreneurship is increasingly becoming a career path of choice.
Jobs remain hard to come by. For those with a natural entrepreneurial spirit, becoming an business owner wasn't necessarily a conscious choice; it just happened. Now that jobs are scarce, some grads are making a conscious choice to create their own jobs by becoming entrepreneurs. In fact, many colleges and universities now offer degree programs in entrepreneurship.
At the same time, entrepreneurs such as WhatsApp's co-founders, are making news for multibillion dollar deals. Meanwhile, the hit show Shark Tank shows everyday small business owners pitching their business ideas to investors - and succeeding.
The rise of crowdfunding sites such as Kickstarter and Indiegogo has also added to the appeal of entrepreneurship. Fundraising is no longer perceived as an intimidating process that involves finding investors and convincing them that you're the next big thing. Crowdfunding is both accessible and social, making it an appealing choice for many new and seasoned entrepreneurs.
Low Startup Costs Make Entrepreneurship Appealing
How much money does it take to launch an eBay store or start a web design business? In many cases, all that's needed is a few hundred dollars to buy a computer and set up shop. In other cases, the computer's already in place. In the best-selling book, The $100 Startup, author Chris Guillebeau discusses the lessons from dozens of Individuals who have built successful businesses with modest investments - some in the $100 or less range.
Purpose often Powers Entrepreneurship
If you're naturally driven, you already know this. You may even be alarmed by some of these trends, thinking that some are flocking to entrepreneurship for the wrong reasons. When Sir Branson proclaimed this year the year of the entrepreneur, he discussed the need for having a purpose beyond profits and profiled an sucessful individual who turned his glass bottom boat business into a profitable and rewarding venture that not only entertains tourists but also protects sea turtles. Entrepreneurship offers passionate people a means of pursuing their passions just as it always has.
Community Support for Entrepreneurs is Greater than Ever
Organizations and programs are popping up everywhere to support entrepreneurs. Consider UP Global, which offers Startup Weekend, Startup Digest, and the NEXT Foundation- all programs aimed at helping those with powerful ideas realize their dream. And then there's the countless incubators and accelerators abound in any city with a tech presence. Indeed, the support for entrepreneurs is greater than ever.
This year could indeed be YOUR year. How will you make your dreams come true in 2014? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.