Top 3 Trends For The Future Of Entrepreneurship
Entrepreneurship is now the first choice for young people in Asia Pacific, who aspire to founding a company or building a start-up over traditional employment.
Much has been written about the future of work after COVID-19, but what about the future of entrepreneurship? How will this ongoing disruption affect the next generation of SMEs?
What’s clear is that becoming an entrepreneur is fast becoming the number one choice for “Generation Next” and Gen Z – and many young people are breaking away from salaried jobs. And it’s not just established businesses that help society get through a crisis like COVID-19. It’s the new generation of up-and-coming entrepreneurs who can deliver innovation, ensure future sustainability, and build safe, equitable, strong economies that benefit everyone.
I see three key trends shaping this:
1. Defined by digital; agility, resilience and speed
We’ve already seen how companies that moved quickly during the crisis had a strategic advantage over competitors. Today, people can work and buy goods from anywhere. With millions working from home, firms that delivered fast but continued to provide exceptional service gained loyal customers.
Consumer expectations have changed. People are much more at ease with using new technology. COVID-19 was a major catalyst for digital entrepreneurship in the same way that other crises and health emergencies sparked positive change in the past.
While all these shifts aren’t new, the acceleration we’ve seen through COVID is. According to McKinsey, businesses that once mapped digital strategy many years ahead have been able to scale those same initiatives in a matter of days or weeks. The speed of change has been phenomenal.
2. A new age of diverse entrepreneurship
In our increasingly connected world, access to technology enables start-ups from Ghana to Bangladesh to participate on the same global stage as those in more developed countries.
So it’s important not just to “teach” or guide entrepreneurship, but to embed it in post-COVID recovery and reset what has gone before. How we work to find, fund and support the next generation of diverse start-ups and entrepreneurs is going to drive long-term recovery.
Asia is fortunate to have some of the most thriving start-up ecosystems in the world. There’s a lot of support for new entrepreneurs and venture capital models at a time when e-commerce and cross-border trade is booming. But there’s still not enough focus on the practical elements of scaling up and growing a global business.
How can SMEs seize the digital advantage and innovate on a global scale?
Getting into the intricate detail of supply chains, trading across borders, and government regulations is difficult. That’s where our expertise at FedEx comes in. Just as commerce is constantly changing, we at FedEx are moving towards a digital future where “now meets next”. During COVID-19 lockdowns, our teams worked tirelessly to assist SMEs throughout Asia-Pacific to achieve digital transformation, increase their online presence and get access to e-commerce shipping tools. Our job is to make commerce easier for all entrepreneurs so their businesses grow and thrive.
To do so, it’s vital to know just where people are spending time online - and how long for. That knowledge is key to what I believe is the third trend for future entrepreneurs.
3. Location-independent solutions
Take healthcare, which has completely transformed in a short period of time. Society is now far more invested in telehealth, remote diagnostics and medical devices. At FedEx, we’re on the frontlines of healthcare and we see these trends play out in real-time. We’ve been transporting medical technology, new pharma and material for clinical trials for years. Now we are doing some of the most important work we’ve ever done – shipping vaccines. We’re understandably proud of the tremendous efforts of FedEx teams worldwide in COVID-19 vaccine delivery.
In other sectors, technology is creating an environment that is location-independent, mobile-first and social-commerce centric. The new generation of successful entrepreneurs are digital nomads already.
Finding the next wave
At FedEx, we are in the entrepreneur-growing business; always searching for the next wave of innovation. Not just because it will help grow our business, but because entrepreneurship is key to global recovery. For the past 16 years, we’ve supported the annual APAC-wide competition in conjunction with Junior Achievement providing a a platform to the next-generation of young student entrepreneurs.
Once, education focused on heading to university or landing a full-time job with an employer. Now we have come full circle. Becoming an entrepreneur will be the first choice for many because the world is moving so much faster - and is more digitally-empowered - to make that happen.
Searching for more tips and advice on entrepreneurship and growing your business? Check out our insights for SMEs here.
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