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How Entrepreneurship has Changed in the 21st Century

~by Donya Zimmerman~

Entrepreneurship is booming in the 21st Century because more people are opting for small business opportunities over working for large companies. Individuals born after 1990 are no longer willing to follow the old-fashioned custom of getting a 9 to 5 job with great benefits. Individuals who are in their 20s and 30s are making the new trend to small business ownership and entrepreneurship.


Young people are starting their own businesses for several reasons:

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  • Creative freedom.
  • Flexibility of work hours.
  • The job market is not that great at this time.
  • They want to make a social change.
  • Love the freedom of being their own boss.

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There is also an increasing number of women starting their own businesses as well. Women who are going through a major shift in their personal lives are deciding to start their own business. Also, developing countries are starting to realize the importance of giving women the tools needed for starting their own businesses so they can improve their financial conditions and family life. 

“Educate a man, educate one person. Educate a woman, educate a community.”  Source: Ladies Who Launch by Victoria Colligan & Beth Schoenfeldt with Amy Swift (St. Martin’s Press New York 2007). 

Women are starting businesses and becoming entrepreneurs for the following reasons:

  • They want to have creative control of their ideal lifestyle
  • They want to fulfill a need or service that is not being meant
  • They are passionate about a certain cause
  • They have a business idea that has been nagging at their mind and heart for several years
  • They want to spend more quality time with family and friends, mainly to have more flexible time to spend time with their children
  • Because they want to be their own boss

There are a growing number of societal advancements that are making it easier for the “21st Century” Entrepreneur to start and sustain their own business. More and more, countries and societies are starting to see the importance of helping their citizens start their own businesses.They are learning that small business is the key to economic development, economic sustainability and improved economic conditions.

Here are some amazing ways in which both developed and developing countries are beginning to see the benefits of small business development:

  • Governments are starting to provide financial incentives for their citizens to start new businesses to save the environment or end illegal activities. For example, incentives are being offered in countries located near the Amazon forest, like Brazil and Colombia, to end the destruction of the Amazon by stopping logging and cattle grazing on the Amazon forest. Many countries located near the Amazon forest are finding alternative means for their citizens to make a living.
  • India, Nigeria and Cambodia have been prime examples of countries trying to improve the lives of their citizens. These countries have realized that the only way to decrease the poverty level in their countries is by educating and financially empowering their women. They have seen the importance of assisting women with starting their own small business as a way to improve their family financial situation. Countries all over the world, developed or developing, are realizing that women are the best small business owners –  because the number one customers in the world are women; women generally have the responsibility for shopping and marketing for their families.
  • Countries are starting to encourage their citizens to start their own businesses because small business is what sustains and maintains the world economy. Major corporations may close their shops, relocate their business to other countries, or downsize. But, small businesses rarely go out of business. Most small businesses are local, and small businesses are supported by local communities.


Even big corporations are starting to see the importance of doing business with the small “boys”.  They are starting to create “Supplier Diversity” boards or departments that assist them with recruiting small businesses to work with. Some small businesses, with the assistance of government agencies, are now able to compete with big companies for work with the government and in the private sector as well. 

Ways in which big business is starting to think and act like small business:

  • They are starting to outsource a lot of their work to small businesses because they are starting to see the benefits of outsourcing. It cut costs and does not require them to hire employees to perform certain tasks.
  • They are starting to partner with small businesses to bid on contracts with government agencies. Many government agencies are now requiring large corporations to hire smaller corporations to get certain contracts. These government agencies set aside a certain percentage of bidding contracts for small businesses and minority-owned businesses.
  • They are starting to realize that if they do not change their practice policies, they can lose business and customers to small businesses. Customers are starting to demand that big corporations treat them as human beings rather than as just a number. Customers are starting to buy their products and services from small businesses because they believe they receive better customer service.


Another reason why it has become easy for individuals to become successful entrepreneurs is due to advancements in technology. You no longer need to have personal contact with your customers as a business. You can now do business with someone in another country from the comfort of your own home. It does not cost a lot of money to start a business in the 21
st Century. 

Advancements in technology have made it easier to do business in the 21st Century:

  • Social media platforms have made it easy for entrepreneurs to promote, market, and advertise their products and services.
  • Small business owners can provide their products to customers in a fast and efficient way. Customers can now receive products in one day, instead of a week.
  • Some businesses can provide their services to their customers virtually without having to meet them in person. This is especially true in the technical field, like website development and IT.
  • You can have a meeting with essential players in the business without everyone being in the same location due to webcasting, teleconference and video conference.
  • You do not need an office to have a small business because you can work from the comforts of your own home. All you need is a laptop computer, cell phone and portable printer.


The world of “entrepreneurship” has changed greatly in the last few decades and it has changed for the better. So, if you have the desire to start your own business or become an entrepreneur, you can do it without being fearful of doing so.

 

Meet the Author: Donya Zimmerman

Donya Zimmerman

Donya Zimmerman

Donya Zimmerman is a business consultant, mediator, and legal professional with over ten years of experience. Donya is also a public speaker and aspiring author. 

She is owner of Family & Community Mediation and Business Consulting (FACMBC) and Powerful Biz Woman (subsidiary of FACMBC), both of which are based in Baltimore, MD.

Services provided by FACMBC:  Mediation and Conflict Resolution Services; Business Registration Assistance; Business Plan Drafting Assistance; Business Certification Assistance; and Business Organization Assistance. 

If you are thinking about starting your own small business or non-profit organization, do not hesitate to contact me because I can show you how to do so.

For more information about Donya:

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