Why 2014 was the year of the entrepreneur

Updated on 8 December 2014

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Why 2014 was the year of the entrepreneurIn her recent article, ‘Why 2014 was the year everybody wanted to run a start-up’, American business coach and a blogger for the Virgin Groupn outlines the major trends in 2014 that she believes contributed towards making entrepreneurship an increasingly more attractive option globally.

These, according to Finerman, include factors like job instability, the search for greater meaning and the rise of women-entrepreneur businesses. Here are the factors she believes had the biggest impact this year.

An unhappy workforce
Finerman quotes 2014 statistics by Gallup, an American research-based company’s which reveals that unhappy employees outnumber happy ones by two to one worldwide, with 13% of workers feel engaged by their jobs. This means the vast majority of people are left unfulfilled, she says.

“These facts support the trend I am seeing with my coaching clients, who want to start their own business entirely or build an entrepreneurial venture on the side while they look for another job they would enjoy more”, she writes.

“People want to feel like they matter and are doing valuable”

Shifting workforce
Market shifts on a global basis toward instability, are responsible for the entrepreneurial path becoming increasingly attractive, says Finerman.

“The workforce is shifting from stable jobs, where a worker stays at a company for several years, to part-time or project-to-project. Although this approach gives companies more flexibility in their hiring, it leads to greater job instability for employees. As a result, entrepreneurial paths start to look more attractive or become be the only viable option” she writes.

Profit vs. purpose
“Profits are always important but I am seeing a shift away from profits as the sole bottomline to one where people want to feel like they matter and are doing valuable and meaningful work,” she says.

Finerman says she has seen with her clients that they want to create work and products that is “meaningful”, whether they are an entrepreneur or work in a company as a self-contributor, manage a team or run the company.

Finerman recalls meeting with a partner in a private equity firm who evaluates firms and management teams before he invests or buys a company. When asked what makes a company successful, his answer was the people and being passionate about your work.

“If people can’t find this in companies they will consider entrepreneurial paths,” she adds.

“Women-run private technology companies achieve 35% higher returns on investment than male-owned tech companies”

Make room for women
Finerman also suggests companies keep an eye on women-entrepreneur businesses. According to research conducted by the Kauffman Foundation – an organisation that focuses on education and entrepreneurship – women-run private technology companies achieve 35% higher returns on investment than male-owned tech companies.

She also predicts that in 2015 there will be increases in women entrepreneurs, increases in funding for women-founded startups and increases in people seeking meaningful work projects.

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