Opportunities for Small Business on the Horizon

In a recent paper released by the Small Business Administration (SBA) Office of Advocacy, entitled “Looking Ahead: Opportunities and Challenges for Entrepreneurship and Small Business Owners,” author Chad Moutray  identified five opportunities coming in the next decade that small business owners can look forward to.

Investment in Technology and Innovation Increasing
With strong ties between innovation and business creation, government is recognizing the fact that entrepreneurs with seemingly risky ventures can have a positive impact on local economies.

"Economic Gardening" Becoming More Prominent
The practice of "economic gardening"(spending money on promoting existing, local business instead of trying to woo large corporations to town) is being seen as a better long term solution to local job creation.

International Markets-The Final Frontier
Within our current economic situation, the export sector is cited as a strength. With nearly 30% of the known export value created by small firms, the full potential for growth in exports has not been exploited as of yet. In the past, small business owners have not actively pursued foreign trading partners. This is predicted to change.

Women and Minorities Will Continue Their Entrepreneurial Spirit
These demographics have seen a lot of new business creation among them and the trend is expected to continue. One new demographic that is cited are veterans returning home from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. They, like many of their predecessors, are expected to dedicate themselves to an entrepreneurial effort. Government needs to not only encourage, but help facilitate these efforts.

The Changing Perception of Education and Training
Small business owners are starting to see the importance of education and training and their ties to "human capital." Business owners that dedicate time and money to training reap the benefits of both higher productivity and morale among workers, as well as a lower turnover rate in employees. Those firms that fail to advance education and training among their employees may find themselves at a competitive disadvantage in retaining the most talented people.

After a long and hard fought election season, many are looking forward to a positive change in the near future and are seeing possibilities in a new light. Let's hope this positive feeling becomes infectious and manifests itself in the growth and prosperity of small business.