Minipreneurs and trendwatching

Trendwatching, and its offshoot, Springwise, have long been worth a look now and again, if only to convince yourself that your finger is on the pulse of the zeitgeist. Or something.

The latest thing I spotted was Minipreneurs, which is kind of a mix of web 2.0, pro-ams and, well, grassroots entrepreneurs. Or as trendwatching puts it:

"We have dubbed this trend ‘MINIPRENEURS’:
a vast army of consumers turning entrepreneurs; including small and
micro businesses, freelancers, side-businesses, weekend entrepreneurs,
web-driven entrepreneurs, part-timers, free agents, cottage businesses,
seniorpreneurs, co-creators, mompreneurs, pro-ams, solopreneurs, eBay
traders, advertising-sponsored bloggers and so on."

Over on the less webby, more social side of things, Robert Katz took up the theme (meme?) on Worldchanging and pointed out that "consumers turning entrepreneurs" is all the more powerful when ‘consumers’ is widened to ‘users’, meaning social entrepreneurs changing things with new models and ways of doing things emerging from the grassroots:

"First of all, minipreneurs aren’t new, so all the talk does feel a bit hyped-up. Microfinance 
organizations have been funding small-scale business ideas for 30-plus
years, and it’s generally acknowledged that entrepreneurs can be a
pretty good investment. They deliver development outcomes, too, by
providing lower-cost goods and services while building local human and
social capital. What are new are the tools and strategies available to
help businesses get started and continue growing – and that’s where the
real potential lies."

Katz is very good on the need for a combination of flexible business models and methodologies with passionate, driven, engaged entrepreneurs. Whilst his focus, and his case studies, are centred in "low-income" countries, the same is no less true for poorer areas in the UK, US, Europe et al.

[Also of interest on WorldChanging is Jon Lebowsky on Nonprofit 2.0 and the Long Tail; Social Entrepreneurship 2.0 to follow ;0)]

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