The term entrepreneur was coined more than 200 years ago. Yet growing up in the Bronx, I never knew an entrepreneur and thought business owners were limited to the local newsstand or butcher.
Today, it seems there is an entrepreneur around every corner. Companies with no revenues are valued at hundreds of millions, and organizations to mentor, fund or staff new businesses pop-up every day. I fully expect that entrepreneurship will continue to play a starring role in 2016.
I happen to live in the Entrepreneurial Capital of the World. Miami is nationally recognized as a small business mecca. And as the gateway to Latin America, it also attracts those with an eye toward globalization.
Clearly building business is in our DNA. But in the last several years, a new energy has been infused into the marketplace along with investors of all types looking to find the next Uber or Periscope. Surveys say Miami is closing in on Silicon Valley in terms of being an affordable and dynamic place for startups. And the Magic City fosters innovation not just in the technology sector, but in food/beverage, healthcare and more.
Where do all these entrepreneurs come from? Entrepreneurship as a career choice was not something many considered among my generation of college graduates. Today, the belief that entrepreneurs are born and not made is being challenged by universities who have raced to create thriving entrepreneur support centers. Students have responded in record numbers. Additionally, universities partner with business and entrepreneurial organizations to offer courses to build the next generation workforce who can help these startups succeed.
And succeed they do if you judge by the number of entrepreneur “halls of fame” that have cropped up to celebrate the success of alumni who have scaled their business to become dominant market leaders.
The ecosystem to promote entrepreneurship continues to expand. New tools, new dollars and new ideas will be abound in 2016. While there are many challenges facing the world today, there are just as many individuals focused on making life better, easier and more rewarding. History will paint these years as the age of entrepreneurialism. While we can only imagine how today’s entrepreneurs will shape our future, I am certain their impact will be incredible.
This post originally appeared on Christine Barney’s blog.