At one time, starting your own business was only for the most serious risk-takers among us. Even some of the bravest and most innovative entrepreneurs have tried only to fail. Fast forward to today and you’ll find that a successful entrepreneur is born every minute. So, what has changed? Here’s how and why entrepreneurship has changed so much in the 21st century.
Several decades ago, entrepreneurs were mainly in their thirties or forties and beyond. Usually, they had a college degree plus some business experience before diving into the world of startup businesses. In fact, even the great JP Morgan didn’t taste success in banking until he was well into his fifties. This climate has changed today, however, when entrepreneurs are much younger and don’t wear business suits. For example, Mark Zuckerberg launched Facebook when he was only 19 years old and today has an estimated net worth of $54.5 billion.
A Level Playing Field
Today, age and education levels aren’t the least bit important when it comes to being a successful entrepreneur. After all, this is the age of information, in which the internet gives us easy access to an endless stream of knowledge about every subject under the sun. Now, 17-year-old kids (and younger) are sitting on their beds doing market research and searching for the perfect crowdfunding source to fund their startups. All they need is a concrete idea and a strong desire to give it life, and technology levels the playing field for them.
Over the past decade, women-owned businesses reported a massive percent increase in annual sales, amounting to a growth of around 75 percent in revenue. In addition, minority-owned businesses are booming over the country. In fact, from 2007 to 2012, the total minority business enterprises in the U.S. increased from less than six million to over eight million. With more programs available to assist aspiring entrepreneurs who may otherwise lack access to necessary funds and resources, the entrepreneurship industry is rapidly becoming more diverse.
Entrepreneurship has become increasingly more global while also merging with “design thinking.” This is a new way of generating great ideas. It’s also easily learnable. Continuation of these trends is expected as our latest generation of business owners reflects our country’s growing diversity.