NOTES FROM SXSW

A New Urgency for Entrepreneurship

The Covid-19 recovery will be powered by dynamic start-ups across the world. SXSW gives a glimpse into future opportunities for entrepreneurs.

Entrepreneurial opportunities in the new economy

The digital acceleration over the past year looks set to give rise to new entrepreneurial opportunities as we enter what Jason Schenker, chairman of The Futurist Institute, calls ‘The Covid Clean Up’. The pandemic increased the use of tools like e-commerce, distance learning and telehealth technology to help businesses deliver their services digitally. Going forward, many companies that were forced to adapt quickly and invest in these tools are now beginning to examine their ROI and consider alternatives. Schenker predicts that this is a big opportunity for entrepreneurs to help corporations understand where the ROI is and ensure they are using these tools most efficiently.

Photo by DISRUPTIVO on Unsplash

Solving the overlooked problems

Many emerging start-ups will set their sights on making incremental improvements to existing issues, caused or amplified by the pandemic. But what about entrepreneurs that are trying to solve a problem that’s never been solved before? During a panel on disrupting billion-dollar industries, Square’s co-founder, Jim McKelvey shared his story of how his efforts to fix a problem for an overlooked group opened a pandora’s box in the financial world.

Photo by Clay Banks on Unsplash

Supporting diversity in entrepreneurship

Levelling the playing field was a key theme in several conversations around Black entrepreneurship. Black small business owners have suffered disproportionate effects of the pandemic, declining at twice the rate of white-owned businesses in the US. Even before the pandemic, Black businesses have struggled to stay afloat due in no small part to the historic lack of access to capital. A panel on the state of Black entrepreneurship described the racist stereotypes Black founders still face when seeking funding. For Black-led start-ups that primarily focus on serving their own community, there is the additional challenge of convincing non-Black investors that there is a big enough market for Black products.

Photo by Christina @ wocintechchat.com on Unsplash

Delano is a Marketing Manager at Miroma Group, a global group of media and marketing agencies uniquely placed to unlock value and drive growth for our clients

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