#260. Business trends that are thriving even in this economy – Part I

Posted on | The Agurban

Welcome to our newly designed Agurban e-zine! We are happy to introduce our new design which incorporates the Agurban logo with our Agracel logo.

We would also like to welcome all of our new readers to the Agurban. The Agurban focuses on economic development best practices. We share insights on revitalization, regionalism, developing entrepreneurs and many other economic development issues through examples of communities and organizations that are getting it right.

We are starting the year with a new three-part series on the 2010 Trends, as identified by entrepreneur.com.

Business trends that are thriving even in this economy – Part I

1. Economic Turmoil
It’s not the $700 billion bank bailout. And no, it’s not the $787 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The real economic stimulus is … wait for it … the recession. That’s right, the Great Recession. This upside-down economy is creating entrepreneurial opportunities aplenty, so long as you can deal with a situation about as stable as a lava flow.

Results from Challenger, Gray & Christmas’ job market index revealed that 8.7 percent of job seekers gained employment by starting their own businesses in second quarter 2009–way, way up from the record low of 2.7 percent during the last quarter of 2008.

Delve further into the numbers. It appears startup rates remain steady through recessions. “Ten, 15 years from now, there will be a slew of companies that we’ll point to and say they started in the recession,” Kauffman Foundation senior analyst Dane Stangler says. “You don’t see them yet, but you can be sure they’re out there.” In fact, more than half of today’s Fortune 500 companies were founded during a recession or bear market.

2. Green Power
Thanks to government incentives and changing public sentiment, clean energy is the most popular kid on the green movement block. The stimulus plan poured billions into renewable energy, automakers are all but predicting electric gridlock within the next few years, and everyone who’s anyone in the electric power industry is investing in the “smart grid.”

Cleantech Group, an industry research firm, reports venture capital investment in clean technology–including solar, biofuels, batteries and the smart grid–overtook IT and biotech for the biggest piece of the VC pie. The sector swiped 27 percent of all investment dollars in the third quarter–that’s $1.6 billion.

3.The Senior Market
Bladders have never been bigger or badder. Same with vision care, cosmeceuticals and pretty much every other business associated with aging. You name it–catered tea parties, tech assistance, medical waste disposal, senior dating sites–you can profit from it. So forget how unsexy it sounds, because businesses aimed at retiring boomers are, well, booming.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the aging-services industry, composed of home healthcare, elderly and disabled services and community care facilities for the elderly, make up three of the top 10 industries with the fastest employment growth.
We will continue our list next week. As always, we welcome any comments or suggestions from our readers.