“Today, a traumatized global community seeks new insights into economic healing and financial wellness. Entrepreneurship is the answer.” Stephen Spinelli Jr.
Economists, researchers and futurists from around the world hold great expectations for entrepreneurs and the contributions they can make to solve our global problems. But why does the future belong to entrepreneurs? Find out here!
Entrepreneurship research 101
The Global Entrepreneurship Monitor is a group of researchers from around the world, who have been gathering and analyzing entrepreneurship data from over 100 different economies for 20 years. The initiative started with an association between Babson College and the London Business School. They have recently published their 2019-2020 report for the USA market and the findings and projections seem to support what many have been predicting for some time. For GEM, “individual entrepreneurial activity may hold the key to transforming the global economy,” notably its “ingrained disparity.”
In the perspective of Babson College’s President, Mr. Spinelli, the greatest superpower of entrepreneurship is that, wherever there is a problem, entrepreneurs see an opportunity. It is this knack for finding ways to satisfy new social needs, along with the drive to innovate, that experts mostly associate with the entrepreneurial spirit. And even when it may be easy to associate the word entrepreneur with the likes of people like Mark Zuckerberg, GEM studies are actually focusing on entrepreneurs and start-ups run by women and individuals from the developing world.
One of the findings that may be surprising for you is that 66% of the US individuals who were surveyed for the GEM report have mentioned that their motive for becoming an entrepreneur is “making a difference in the world.” Great news worth spreading!
The entrepreneur’s key skills
Being “empathic listeners, strategic thinkers and global collaborators” are the skills entrepreneurship education is aiming for, according to US brand architect and public speaker Orly Zeewy. In her article titled “The future of work is entrepreneurial,” she goes on to explain that entrepreneurship became a new way to think about work in the USA after the financial crisis of 2007. This spurred a new demand for entrepreneurship education because a growing number of US citizens discovered that having a job was becoming an obsolete idea. But what are these skills all about?
Shopify president, Harley Finkelstein, was recently interviewed in a Washington Post live podcast on entrepreneurship and ecommerce. The leader of the third largest online shopping platform in the USA explains that there are two types of entrepreneurs, businesses or brands:
A resilient type, who was able to adapt quickly as soon as the pandemic started. They took their “brick and mortar” businesses and transformed them into a new, online model, by understanding their customers’ need for online shopping. These businesses have done well despite the pandemic, because of their flexibility and empathy.
A more resistant type of entrepreneurs, who viewed technology as very intimidating and didn’t know how to adapt to an online model. Shopify is helping these businesses leverage the resources available online and otherwise, to adapt to these changing times.
And this is where being global collaborators becomes crucial. Just as working online allows entrepreneurs to reach a worldwide audience, it also gives them access to incredibly useful tools. Even those in less developed economies can now compete with entrepreneurs in richer countries. This “levels the field” for all entrepreneurs and makes this economy a much fairer one.
A part of being a strategic thinker involves taking advantage of the resources available in order to meet your goals. If Finkelstein and Zeewy are right, we are currently witnessing a blueprint of what retail and work in general will look like in the future. This involves omnichannel brands that reach customers directly, and customers who can “vote with their wallets” and support the brands that align with their values. And, as the experts agree, this isn’t only about paying the lowest price, but about the customer having a great experience.
This is why hiring professional translation, transcreation and localization services is a fundamental resource for entrepreneurs. To truly tell your brand’s story, in a way that reaches your audience and converts sales, you need to use the right words. This, again, requires empathy to identify the channels that your customer needs to use.
Other resources available for entrepreneurs, as Finkelstein points out, are mainly social media channels. Whether it is Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook or TikTok, these are excellent ways to build a community. For early-stage entrepreneurs looking to start a new community of followers, he recommends looking at the channels that are bringing more of your sales and then investing on more of those ads. For more details on free resources, you can also read one of the many blogs and tip lists available online. Here’s one to get you started!
Entrepreneurs have the potential to change the world
As research shows and experts claim, entrepreneurs with the right vision and skillset have the capacity to change the world for good. They can make the economy a fairer place and they can cater for what customers are really in search of. Also, they can transform the workplace into a much freer environment, where people with great ideas can reach people in need of solutions, thus leading much more purposeful lives.
But it isn’t only entrepreneurs’ lives that can improve. Finkelstein has noticed an important customer trend: the public is turning more towards independent brands and further away from large marketplaces or stores. They are also looking for conscious businesses that are aligned with their values and ideals, because they want to support businesses that care.
Due to their capacity to adapt to new social needs and leverage innovation to provide unique products and services, entrepreneurs can transform the economy. They can create opportunities for economic growth in countries where there are limited resources and bring solutions for a better quality of life where it is needed. Also, by collaborating on a global scale and remaining adaptable, they can bridge the gaps created by unequal access to goods and services. The future is entrepreneurial!