The economy is clearly changing and to better understand these changes Emergent Research (that's us) and Intuit partnered on a year long study examining these shifts, the trends driving them and their impact on the small business economy.
At a very high level, the major trends driving small business change are:
Socio-economic uncertainty: Demographic, economic and social shifts - as well as automation and global competition - are leading to fewer “good jobs”, income inequality and increasing job insecurity, pushing more people to consider full or part-time self-employment or small business ownership.
Technology: new infrastructure is enabling new business models, making it easier to reach and serve niche markets and reducing the costs of starting and operating a small business.
Platforms and Marketplaces: The growing number and use of marketplaces (Etsy, AirBnB, etc.) and business platforms (tech and financial industry partner programs, etc.) are enabling new forms of small business and allowing many more people to become full and part-time micropreneurs.
Customer Needs: Consumers are now more interested in supporting local businesses as well as buying unique and/or customized products. This creates more niche small business opportunities. Businesses are also more interested in working with small businesses and increasingly hiring independent workers.
These shifts are touching everyone at all points in the economy. It is a time of both great anxiety and great opportunity. There is both less security and more freedom.
In this new landscape, many people are re-imagining the idea of small businesses to create new, innovative models that work for their needs. The result is something we call The New Entrepreneurial Mindset.
Over the coming months we will be releasing a series of reports, presentations and videos covering the full findings from The New Entrepreneurial Mindset study.