Opportunity Entrepreneurship

My daughter started her own business this month! Like many other small business owners, including myself, her path wasn't necessarily planned but more of a "seize the opportunity" type strategy. As a PMHNP she's a healer and patient advocate at heart and describes herself as an unlikely candidate to own her own business. However, she identified a need and created a great business model that fills the gap for mental health services in the nonprofit arena. She seized the opportunity that the market provided and became an opportunity entrepreneur.

Opportunity entrepreneurs start a business out of opportunity as opposed to necessity and their numbers increased from 2013 to 2014 and are substantially higher than at the end of the recession in 2009. The Kaufmann Foundation observes that 79.6 percent of the total number of new entrepreneurs in 2014 emerged from opportunity entrepreneurship, those who were not unemployed and not looking for a job. In the United States alone more than 500,000 adults became entrepreneurs each month during 2014. These trends are exciting because they may indicate that entrepreneurship is moving away from necessity and towards opportunity or choice.

So, how do you prepare for opportunity entrepreneurship? You can begin in the same manner as my daughter, by following the steps below:

  • observe trends and look for opportunities to fill a gap in the market
  • develop solutions to problems you face on a daily basis in your personal and professional life
  • assess your strengths and skills
  • get the expertise you need by finding resources to help mitigate your weaknesses or lack of skills
  • acknowledge that your business will have peaks and valleys and try to prepare yourself for this in advance
  • hold your breath and JUMP into the exciting and challenging world of entrepreneurship

The world needs what you have to offer!