US trends point the way … Now for the Wiki novel … Bank your cheques at home … Be seen, be sewn … Is eggvertising headed here?

US small business trends

Business trends in the United States can be a good pointer to what will happen here.

Entrepreneurs in the next decade will be far more diverse than their predecessors in age, origin and gender, according to the Intuit Small Business Forecast series that is examining emerging trends that will have an impact on small business over the next decade.

New trends include:

  • A new breed of entrepreneurs will emerge.
    There will be more personal businesses — one person businesses with no employees — because of shifts in larger company employment practices and changes in technology.
  • Contract workers and accidental and social entrepreneurs will fuel a proliferation of personal businesses.
    Economic, social, and technological change and an increased interest in flexible work schedules will produce a more independent workforce seeking a better work/life balance.
  • The emergence of entrepreneurial education.
    The last decade has seen a rapid growth of university-level entrepreneurial training. The next decade will see the continuation of this trend, but also see the growth of entrepreneurial training aimed at youth, mid-career professionals, artists and musicians, as well as trades people of all kinds.


A million Penguins – a new use for Wikis

Everyone has one novel in them, so they say. Penguin Publishing is using a Wiki to set up the world’s first community written book. The Wiki site launched last week, and the novel is already up to chapter two. Anyone can write. Anyone can edit. Anyone can make it good and anyone can wreck it – which some of the bloggers commenting on the site are suggesting has already happened!


Bank cheques from home

USAA Bank has become the first bank to allow customers to deposit old-fashioned cheques from home, according to Customers go online, scan the cheque (its front and the endorsed back) send the image to the bank and confirm.

While paper cheques may not be around for too much longer, the innovation has garnered USAA a number of “Best of the web” awards for its efforts says Trendhunter.


Sewing cafes

Go out for coffee – and make a dress. Springwise has found what it believes is the first sewing cafe in Berlin. “Knitting clubs have spread like wildfire over the past few years, with men and women gathering in pubs to stitch, bitch and get their craft on. The founder of the sewing cafe noticed a huge increase in the number of people interested in sewing their own clothes, and opened her doors in Berlin, a city with low rents and plenty of crafters.

Like internet cafes, people just walk in and install themselves behind a machine, and are charged by the hour (5 euros). Besides 10 sewing machines, customers have a cutting table at their disposal, as well as the founder’s extensive knowledge. She helps replace broken zippers and advises on tailoring a vintage dress or stitching a handbag. The cafe serves a wide range of customers — from teenagers customising jeans, to a woman creating her own wedding dress.



The trend of advertising on eggs that started in the United States has spread to Japan, according to That’s right, Japan is now advertising on eggs! Takako Maruyama, a spokeswoman at public relations firm Sunny Side Up, said: “The chance of people taking the ads directly into their hands is very high this way.” Of course you will immediately notice the advert because you’ve got to hold it first before you crack or cook it.”


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