In January, Sillicon Valley's Institute for the Future released the first installment of an interesting study on the future of small business. Sponsored by Intuit, the study is fittingly entitled the Intuit Future of Small Business Report™. Here is an excerpt from the press release that summarizes their findings:
"The report identifies three major trends: the changing face of small business, the rise of personal business and the emergence of entrepreneurial education. Those trends led to five major findings:
- Entrepreneurs will no longer come predominantly from the middle of the age spectrum, but instead from the edges. People nearing retirement and their children just entering the job market will set the bar as the most entrepreneurial generation ever.
American entrepreneurship will reflect a huge upswing in the number of women. The glass ceiling that has limited women's growth in traditional corporate career paths will send a rich talent pool to the small business sector.
- Immigrant entrepreneurs will drive a new wave of globalization. U.S. immigration policy and the outcome of the current immigration debates will affect how this segment performs over the next decade.
Contract workers, accidental and social entrepreneurs will fuel a proliferation of personal businesses. Economic, social and technological change -- and an increased interest in flexible work schedules -- will produce a more independent workforce seeking a better work-life balance.
- Entrepreneurship will be a widely adopted curriculum at educational, trade and vocational institutions. As a result, artists, musicians and others not traditionally exposed to business education will learn not just their trade but small-business management skills as well."
The other, upcoming two installments will examine the technologies that will propel the small business sector and how small businesses will affect society and the economy through 2017. More information is available at http://www.intuit.com/futureofsmallbusiness/. It’s worth a look.