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Become a "Minipreneur"

Become a "Minipreneur"

Allan Hoffman / Monster Tech Jobs Expert

December 09, 2008

Entrepreneurial projects can consume your life. No wonder so many people with limited time and funds defer their dreams of starting a business. But with the help of online technologies, millions of people are keeping their day jobs while trying entrepreneurship as minipreneurs.

As defined by trendwatching.com, a firm that tracks and analyzes consumer trends, minipreneurs are a “vast army” of consumers-turned-entrepreneurs operating minibusinesses, often as part-time ventures, with the aim of experimenting with entrepreneurship and making extra cash.

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Statistics vary on the number of minipreneurs, but trendwatching.com cites figures suggesting that as many as 5 million minipreneurs may be operating in the US. Trendwatching.com director Reinier Evers says these entrepreneurs are seeking to accomplish one of the following:

  • • Switch careers or make some other major life change.
  • • Do something similar to their current work, yet be their own boss.
  • • Make extra cash, perhaps for just a few hours a week, and gain a feeling of empowerment from working for themselves.

Minipreneurs include shareware creators, T-shirt designers, comic-book publishers, jewelry makers and political bloggers. To minimize risk, they typically keep their regular jobs – at least at first.

What’s Fueling the Minipreneur Boom?

According to trendwatching.com, several factors have converged to cause a boom in minipreneurial ventures. The most prominent include the Internet-enabled global marketplace, making niche markets profitable, and a highly developed “network of intermediaries, tools, resources and processes.”

Included in this “ecosystem,” as trendwatching.com terms it, are open-source software; free or inexpensive Web hosting systems; Google Talk, Skype and other free telephony systems; inexpensive Internet advertising and bartered ads; PayPal and other online payment systems; and product-selling services, such as Lulu.com for on-demand publishing and CafePress.com for peddling mugs, T-shirts and other items.


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