The cost of entry for an aspiring entrepreneur has never been lower, and the total wealth of opportunities has never been larger. You can start a new e-Commerce site on the Internet for as little as $100, with cheap smart phone apps, new technology innovations, or tapping the multitude of opportunities brought by capitalizing on our concern for dwindling natural resources.
A while back, I focused on the e-Commerce side, so this time I wanted to highlight how a shortage of something, like natural resources, should be seen by an aspiring entrepreneur as a wealth of new startup ideas. I was inspired by a new book, "Resource Revolution: How to Capture the Biggest Business Opportunity in a Century," by Stefan Heck and Matt Rogers.
Based on their work in CleanTech and sustainability, Heck and Rogers outline five principles for existing companies to apply to current practices and processes for dramatic efficiency improvements in the use or production of resources. I have recast these principles here for new entrepreneurs and startups, who thrive on change, to show the wealth of opportunities for them:
Relative to all these principles, the "big three" of scarce natural resources consist of land (food), water, and energy. The stark reality is that the people and businesses of the world need to produce more with less in all these areas, while eliminating wasteful practices and policies. The effort has started, but there is still a huge need in all areas.
A key fact for both startups and existing businesses is that we have more than 2.5 billion people in developing countries to support who need to be moving out of poverty and into industrial and service occupations by 2030. This number almost doubles the number who have already moved into the middle class and urbanized. These will be your customers, and your competitors.
Overall, with all these opportunities, entrepreneurship is perhaps the most scarce and valuable natural resource in today's society, for driving economic growth and social development. So now is the time to invest in all natural resources, by supporting aspiring entrepreneurs, in support of the opportunities they are mining. It's a higher calling than one more social media platform.