In the New York Times on Monday, there was a very important article on young entrepreneurs entitled: No Jobs? Young Graduates Make Their Own. With the lack of traditional jobs on the market, young people are blazing a path to success by creating their own companies. These organic businesses, started from the ground up are what the U.S. needs to revitalize it’s economy. One must never forget about the roots of companies such as Facebook and Google, which of both started in a college dorm room or one bedroom apartment. And in 2010 you could look to Groupon, for example, which started in 2008 and recently refused a $6 billion bid by Google. Granted, most of us will not be forming the next multinational enterprise, but with a vision, tenacity, and good business acumen there are always possibilities available to the budding entrepreneur.
The NYT article describes the failures and success of a NYU film student, Scott Gerber, who used nothing but his passion and the last $700 in his pocket to start an internet company. While there are many opportunities for forming novel businesses online, I think the biggest game changers will be in the energy sector. Since starting his business, Gerber has also founded the Young Entrepreneur Council which mentors early stage entrepreneurs primarily through web forums, Q&A articles and video conferences. Scott also writes prolifically for several websites, such as this article on how to raise capital for your business based on first hand experience from various new entrepreneurs on youngentrepreneur.com.
While there is still room for virtual businesses to grow, a truly sustainable company should focus on solving unmet needs. In the U.S., the primary unmet needs are in the energy sector. Therefore, many investors and serial entrepreneurs are moving into this arena trying to bring new products to market and bridge the cap between new technologies that are challenged by consumer adaptation and habit.
Recently, Inc.com published an article describing the 18 best industries to pursue for starting a new business. One of those was energy, and their take on this field can be found below:
The energy industry is full of start-up opportunities, so it’s no surprise that it was the fastest-growing category among privately-held companies on the 2008 Inc. 500 | 5000 list — with a median four-year growth rate of 287.5 percent among 79 companies on the list. These companies run the gamut from dealing in solar energy to alternative fuels. Due to growing consumer demand to save on energy costs, companies that install efficient lighting systems or cut down on heating costs by installing solar panels are well positioned for future growth. In addition, economic stimulus funds for energy projects nationwide amount to $43 billion, creating opportunities for entrepreneurs with a scientific background to break into areas such as biofuel and wind power. — Jason Del Rey and Tamara Schweitzer