Big Ideas 2014: The Year of the Entrepreneur

This post is part of a series in which LinkedIn Influencers pick one big idea that will shape 2014. See all the ideas here.

2014 will be a year of many big ideas, because it will be the year of the entrepreneur. This year has seen the growing trend of entrepreneurship being embraced as a positive way to create the jobs of the present and the future. From being a dirty word in the past, now entrepreneurship is increasingly being celebrated and encouraged – as it should be.

There has been a surge in the excitement surrounding start-ups, from Silicon Valley to Silicon Roundabout and beyond. Many internet start-ups came to fruition, and big businesses went public, creating enormous wealth for their founders. That generation are now setting up new businesses, helping to create more jobs and stimulate more innovation. Jack Dorsey from Twitter didn’t rest on his laurels after launching Twitter, he is now taking Square from strength to strength and I expect to see more entrepreneurial ideas from Jack and his peers in the coming year.

I believe 2014 will be the year of the entrepreneur more than just in California. When visiting Africa, Australia, Europe, South America and the US this year, there was a real appetite for entrepreneurship wherever we went. We launched Virgin StartUp in the UK, and are receiving lots of applications from new businesses hungry to succeed. In South Africa and the Caribbean the Branson Centres of Entrepreneurship are overflowing with talented individuals eager to unleash their ideas onto the world. With the right support (financial and otherwise) they can and will.

The entrepreneurs who will succeed in 2014 will need to focus upon having a purpose beyond profit for their business. A great example of this in the British Virgin Islands is an entrepreneur named Gumption, who we gave a loan to start a glass-bottom boat company. He has paid back his entrepreneurial loan in full, and is now focusing upon his company becoming a force for good, helping protect turtles as well as entertain tourists.

Technology is helping every business, large and small to move forwards, which will only increase in the coming year. Now, entrepreneurs can build companies at a fraction of the cost in the past. All of the little things that used to add up to big headaches for new businesses, from accounting to website development, are now available to small businesses, giving them the same capabilities as large enterprises at a cost they can afford. Because of this, new entrepreneurs have more time to think about the bigger picture and work out how to grow their business, rather than fretting about every detail.

Don’t get me wrong, there are still a thousand and one things for every entrepreneur to focus upon, and you need a great team of people around you and good delegation skills to utilise them. But now new businesses have more of a fighting chance.

So, what is your big idea for 2014? Why not decide to set up the business you have always wanted? Screw it, just do it!

Published at LinkedIn.