In a January article, Time magazine dubbed 2012 “The Year of the Entrepreneur” — and it seems to be shaping up that way. With jobs still in scarce supply, many recent graduates are trading underemployment for business ownership.
Empowered by technology that makes launches more affordable and the global market more accessible than ever, a growing number of young adults are turning their talents into viable ventures, using Wifi-connected coffee shops as offices and creative capital to get their fledgling operations off the ground.
Those lacking seed money don’t have to look too hard to find it. Crowdfunding websites like IndieGoGo and Kickstarter provide financing to aspiring entrepreneurs with a promising patent or product idea. University incubators and accelerators make it easy for students to bring new research and technology to the marketplace.
Since the Recession, many private and public partnerships and programs have been created to support future job creators, including some that offer student loan relief to young entrepreneurs.
An Idealistic Outlook
Their optimism is reflected in a Kauffman Foundation/Legal Zoom Confidence Index study, which shows that 98 percent of entrepreneurs ages 18 to 30 feel confident or very confident about their business prospects and expect to see profitability in year ahead.
In Silicon Valley, power is shifting from venture capitalists to young entrepreneurs. As Inc. magazine details, these savvy idealists are the ones calling the meetings, holding the bargaining chips and coming up with creative ways to make products and services new, better and different.
But aspiring entrepreneurs don’t have to travel to Silicon Valley to be successful. According to research published by Yale University, startups survive longer and generate more profit when their founders launch them in or near their hometowns. Starting a business locally gives entrepreneurs better access to investors and employees, the study says, and family and friends often serve as the largest source of startup capital.
Have you got what it takes to be an entrepreneur? Check out this Cultural Weekly article on “3 Reasons Artists and Entrepreneurs Are the Same” to see if you do!