Creative Entrepreneurship in 21st Century

Creative Entrepreneurship in 21st Century

August 29, 2017

The world is changing faster than ever. Technology is accelerating, job security is declining and income inequality is increasing. People are overworked and underpaid. With less time and freedom, people are left wondering if there is a better way. Such drastic changes in our changing economy has led to the rise of the entrepreneur. Undoubtedly the fastest, most dependable and controllable way to become successful is to own your own business and in today’s era, it seems more and more people are willing to join in and travel down the entrepreneurship lane. The key to a successful business though, is making sure you’ve done your research. For example, you’ll want to make sure that you have someone who could help you with your financial analysis or something similar. It doesn’t matter what business you are in as long as you have done your research to make sure that your business will (and can) thrive.

 

THE URGE TO BE DIFFERENT

The definition for “business” in past centuries and for several years into this one might be summed up as “providing goods and services to satisfy human needs and desires.” But, today, this basic concept alone won’t fly if you want to thrive and find yourself a piece of the entrepreneurship pie.

Indeed, there are already more than enough people supplying goods and services to customers. Today, those customers are looking out for the spectacular. Today, creativity, innovation and out-of-the box are the factors spurring success. So, if you have an absolutely “crazy” idea, you may be closer to success than you would have been several decades ago.

 

RISE IN SMALL BUSINESSES

Small businesses are strongly growing and booming in the 21st century as most people are opting for small business opportunities over working for large companies. Individuals born in the 1990s and after 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 following the fresher trend of small business ownership and entrepreneurship. These young people are starting their own businesses as it gives them the creative freedom they seek and flexibility of work hours. Young entrepreneurs aspire to bring social change, even in the smallest of amounts if possible. Owning one’s own business helps them fulfill their aspirations and the freedom of being their own boss is what has been pushing more and more people towards entrepreneurship.

 

INCREASE IN WOMEN ENTREPRENEURS

The 21st century has also seen an increase of women starting their own businesses as well. Many women who are going through a major shift in their personal lives are deciding to start their own businesses. Also, many developing countries are starting to realize the importance of giving women the tools needed to start their own businesses to improve their financial conditions and family life.

These women entrepreneurs prefer having creative control of their ideal lifestyle and are starting businesses out of necessity because they want to fulfill a need or service that is not being meant. Many women are starting businesses because they are passionate about a certain cause while others are starting businesses because they have a business idea that has been nagging at their mind and heart for several years. Some women will start their own business to spend more quality time with family and friends and have more flexible time to spend time with their children and again most importantly, women are becoming entrepreneurs because they want to be their own bosses and take a step against this long standing patriarchal society.

 

LARGER CORPORATIONS LEARNING TO COLLABORATE WITH SMALL BUSINESSES

Big corporations are starting to see the importance of doing business with the small “boys”. Many big corporations are starting to create “Supplier Diversity” boards or departments that assist them with recruiting small businesses to work with. Many 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.

These days, corporations are starting to outsource a lot of their work to small businesses. Many big companies are starting to see the benefits of outsourcing to small businesses because it helps them cut costs and does not require them to hire employees to do certain tasks.

Many big companies are starting to partner with small businesses in order to bid on contracts with government agencies. Many government agencies are requiring large corporations to hire smaller corporations to get certain contracts.

Also corporations are starting to realize that if they do not change their practice policies they can lose business and customers to small businesses. Many customers are starting to demand that big corporations stop seeing them as numbers and as human beings. Many customers are starting to buy their products and services from small businesses because of the better customer service they experience.

 

THE ERA OF TECHNOLOGY

Technology and the Internet is taking us back to our original primal instinct. We were never built to be employees. It was not until a few hundred years ago that the concept of working for someone else and being dictated orders caught on. Prior to that, we were all merchants, traders & farmers. We gathered and created things of value and sold them in the local village. Sure, you can easily argue that if the world still worked this way today that we would have no Internet, no modern luxuries, no technology, etc. Technology and the Internet has provided to give us back a piece of ourselves that we lost several hundred years ago when we were convinced to become employed.

Emergence of the technology has increased business functionality and efficiency for example, of you work in a harsh environment there are now computers and keyboards that have been engineered to last a long time in those types of conditions, you could take a look at industrial keyboard information here if this is something that interests you. Moving on from technology, the internet has also improved, while the internet has allowed entrepreneurs to enter an era of endless possibilities. Physical offices are becoming a thing of the past as more and more businesses are having virtual offices as they are being run from homes. Even retail trade has found a cozy home on the internet with the flourishing of e-commerce. Creative entrepreneurs also have found Facebook as their most preferred platform of choice due to its ease of use, eliminating the need of a separate website as well as allowing them to effectively market their goods and services.

 

IMPORTANCE OF E-COMMERCE FOR BANGLADESHI ENTREPRENEURS

Online businesses have become extremely popular in Bangladesh in recent years as evidenced by the growth and commercial success of online-based home delivery of food, such as HungryNaki and FoodPanda. Other examples of B2C initiatives include Facebook-based commerce platforms such as Shopr.bd and ShoptoBd which allow Bangladeshi customers to purchase products from leading online shopping sites in the US, UK, India and even China, e.g., Amazon.com, ebay.co.uk, Amazon.in, and Alibaba. Other major players include Daraz, Kaymu, Chaldal, Bagdoom, etc. Although the competition between local players and foreign-backed players in the B2C market, in particular, the food delivery business, is expected to determine the future structure of the B2C sector, what appears to be inevitable is its sustained growth.

Recent years have also seen a shift towards a demand for quality handcrafted goods, and many creative entrepreneurs now sell those goods using a variety of online marketplaces and platforms. The accessibility of the internet has produced a new kind of creative economy that champions the small business and connects buyers and sellers directly. Exceptionally talented local artists, jewelers, woodworkers, ceramicists have established their businesses online with some fairly simple online tools. Thanks to e-commerce now there are so many different channels to monetize your work and cultivate an audience beyond just the traditional model of submitting such work to galleries or wholesaling to retail shops.

 

LACK OF CAPITAL, STILL THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE

Business most certainly cannot exist, let alone thrive in a vacuum. There needs to be an existing ecosystem of bankers, venture capitalists, and other supporting service providers; something which Bangladesh worryingly lacks at the moment. There is a significant lack of seed or venture capital in the economy. Banks dominate the investment capital market with a collateral-obsessed lending system, which discourages new entrepreneurs to set up businesses at grassroots levels.

The culture for investing in ideas and innovation is still not widely practiced in Bangladesh. The global venture capital industry is currently valued at around $58.8 billion in 2015 according to PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (PwC). But the fashion of injecting high-risk capital into new businesses is something that the capital market needs to learn, and learn fast to promote the start-up ecosystem.

To worsen the situation, our society is created with such stubborn walls that it really becomes about who you are, and who you know to get anything done, let alone begin a business. Bureaucratic barriers, and lack of dedicated entrepreneurial services in consulting, marketing support, export strategies, and IT systems further poses threat to the flourishing of entrepreneurial ventures.

 

BETTER PROSPECTS IN THE DIGITAL SPACE

The rise of Silicon Valley in the United States fueled the digital revolution. Businesses no longer followed the traditional ways, rather were these new technology startups with disruptive business models. Entrepreneurship in the digital space was the new big thing.

Bangladesh, with its dominant youth population, is a thriving ground for tech businesses at the moment. The government’s vision of integrating technology into everyday aspect of life is empowering the youth to set up innovative digital businesses catering to the giant conglomerates and MNCs of the country and filling the gap in IT services the country lacked.

Bangladesh currently boasts over 110 million mobile phone users, according to the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics, with a growing smartphone conversion rate. There lies an enormous scope in developing services to meet the needs of these digital natives. Hence opportunities will only continue to thrive for digital entrepreneurs in Bangladesh.

The emergence of numerous accelerator programs, like that of Grameenphone, are incubating and providing seed capital to innovative digital businesses. With such initiatives and more investors showing interest in venture capitalism to fund innovation, perhaps now is the best time for inspiring passionate entrepreneurs to step up and work towards establishing their businesses as ‘the next big thing’.

 

THE IMPORTANCE OF CREATIVITY AND INNOVATION

Over the last decades, innovation and creativity have become critical skills for achieving success in businesses. The need for creative problem solving has arisen as more and more management problems require creative insights in order to find suitable solutions.

Creativity goes hand in hand with innovation. And there is no innovation without creativity. While creativity is the ability to produce new and unique ideas, innovation is the implementation of that creativity – that’s the introduction of a new idea, solution, process, or product. Creativity is the driving force behind innovation and the incorporation of looking at things from a different perspective and freedom of restrictions by rules and written or unwritten norms.

Creativity and innovation within a well-run company have always been recognized as a sure path to success. Stimulating creativity and exploring completely new and unknown territories lead to increasing the productivity of the organization. Encouraging the employees to think outside of the box and giving them time and resources to explore new areas for innovative ideas is the key to cost-effective business solutions.

Creativity improves the process of solving problems. It doesn’t matter if we’re talking about developing a new strategy or an innovative way to stay ahead of the competition. Creative problem solving gives that competitive edge that any business is striving to achieve

Creative ideas and innovative approaches can come from almost anywhere- from your partners, customers, target groups, employees. They can bring you fresh perspectives and ideas, so show them that you are listening and open to their feedback. And as businesses get more and more competitive as well as homogeneous in nature, creative decision making will become of utmost importance for survival. This is not true only for small and upcoming businesses, but also for corporate giants who need to increase focus in differentiating their products and services and concentrate more on delivering personalized customer services.

We are living in an era of information, sitting on top of piles of data, yet to be put to good use. Creativity should no longer be taken in its literal sense only. Rather the focus should be on improving business models in manners which benefit the customers more. Customers should be of the utmost importance for business of the 21st century. It should be them who would define and authenticate your business values and it is this urge to be as different as possible in satisfying customers, which should keep the passion burning brightly in entrepreneurs, alight.

 

By Taposh Ghosh

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