Micro-entrepreneurship is a growing trend that has been identified by the media as “the freelance economy” or the “rise of the creative class”. In the wake of a recession, where many are reevaluating their priorities, more and more individuals are chucking their corporate careers and following their passions, and technology is making it possible.
I have a friend renting a room in her house through Airbnb, another selling her jewelry on Etsy, a classmate brewing his own craft beer, and I’m planning to leave education for the freelance life. Individuals are creating their own jobs and using technology to make it happen. Fast Company calls this new empowerment “a celebration of life and time, and shift in perspective of money.”
Fast Company identified five reasons to account for the rise of micro-entrepreneurship: flexibility, following your heart, making money, enrichment, and creativity. It will be the customers who ultimately decide whether this trend lives on. Will they buy from these smaller more customized businesses? I tend to think it is a trend that is at least here for a good while.
We’re coming off (we hope) a time of extreme economic uncertainty. I left for the more secure opportunity in public education. My husband lost a job and began his own business at a time when headlines screamed doom on the front pages. Our property value skyrocketed, then plummeted, and then steadily rose again to where we began. People are overburdened with debt and economic stress, tired off wasting hours away from family for jobs they no longer find fulfillment or value in. After being stripped of most things material, perhaps all people want now is to be happy, to follow their dreams before it’s too late.
Perhaps people have lost faith in a lot of our systems in this country are want to chance things on their own, rely on themselves. Corporate culture is not the dream it was for many in the 90s. Even buyers are shying away from giants, and for many of the reasons entrepreneurs are: price, flexibility, ease of use, authenticity, unique experience, and it’s good for the world. A new economy is blooming based on the values of individual gumption, and the new values of trust, collaboration, accountability, security, and technology.
I like the new economy. I like the independence with cooperation, the empowerment with trust, and the courage with satisfaction.