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The rise of the micro-entrepreneur in 2021 and beyond

The World Economic Forum dubbed 2020 ‘The Great Reset’ in global business. Now that we are at the tail end of 2021, we’re starting to get a sense of what might come next. One trend that’s rapidly gathering pace in the small-business world is the rise of the micro-entrepreneur.

What micro-entrepreneur means

Like their traditional entrepreneurial predecessors, this new group of business owners has the vision and passion to take an innovative idea to market. Where they differ is in their approach – micro-entrepreneurs intentionally build a successful business on a smaller scale, keeping their team lean and overheads low. The recently published Wellness & Aesthetics Trends Report 2030 by Jeunesse Australasia has pinpointed this trend as one of the key directions for the future of business, particularly in the health and wellbeing space.

Why it’s on the rise

There are many reasons why micro-entrepreneurship is on the rise. Remote working is now commonplace, and the technology that makes it possible just keeps getting better and easier to use. It’s self-apparent that deliberately sticking to a smaller scale means the level of risk is also correspondingly lower. We’ve just seen first-hand how dramatically the social and economic landscape can change for small businesses, due to factors that are completely outside of our control. Many small-business owners are only just beginning the long process of rebuilding to their pre-COVID-19 levels.

By contrast, a micro-entrepreneur minimises or even eliminates their exposure to fluctuating rents, unpredictable staffing and other factors that can be a big headache for business owners.

Driven by a purpose

On a more positive note, staying small allows business owners to directly advocate for the values that are important to them – and to live those values through their business every single day. Purpose-driven profit is a concept that resonates strongly with many business owners, especially the younger generation. And we know that finding and igniting a purpose is essential for all businesses right now.

For some business owners, this might mean regularly donating a percentage of their time or profits to a cause that’s aligned to their business ethos.

For other micro-entrepreneurs, living their values could be as simple as being independent and having the freedom to build a lifestyle that suits them. The phrase ‘work/life balance’ is overused but it’s also important to acknowledge that it means different things to each person. No one is better placed to shape this balance in a meaningful and personal way than a micro-entrepreneur.

Improving customer experience

It can also be a more customer-centric way of working. By keeping their business small, micro-entrepreneurs usually have direct contact with their end customers, meaning that they can deliver great customer experience, consistently. They can do this because these business owners are typically a passionate bunch who believe entirely in the products or services that they’re selling.

Remote working and technology have created a new wave of micro-entrepreneurs who not only want an income but want to feel passion for their vocation. This passion endears them to consumers, providing a story that captivates and drives loyalty in a jaded marketplace looking for authenticity.

The growth of micro-entrepreneurs, as direct selling distributors, experienced a surge in Australia after the first wave of lockdowns, providing income and opportunity at a time when many people needed it most.

To capitalise on their passion, budding micro-entrepreneurs should seek continuous learnings in building and running a business. Alternatively, they could look for a well-established business that has a track record of supporting others to become successful micro-entrepreneurs on their own terms. By setting up their enterprise with efficient and tested systems in place, a micro-entrepreneur will have the skills and confidence to follow their dreams.

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