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  1. The recession is creating entrepreneurial opportunities aplenty, think of debt counselling and financial wellness courses which are first becoming multi billion industries. And joblessness is seeing more people open their own businesses. Results from Challenger, Gray & Christmas' job market index revealed that 8.7 percent of job seekers gained employment in the United States by starting their own businesses in second quarter 2009--way up from the record low of 2.7 percent during the last quarter of 2008. IbisWorld, an industry market research firm, expects that after a great purge, loan brokerage services will see 40 percent growth in 2010.

  2. Green is the new black in fashion and everyone is introducing environmental friendliness as a mark of corporate social responsibility but also sensible cost savings. Eskom’s high prices are spurring fast growth in solar heating and energy alternatives. Cleantech Group, an industry research firm, reports venture capital investment in clean technology--including solar, biofuels, batteries and the smart grid--overtook IT and biotech for the biggest piece of the VC pie. The sector swiped 27 percent of all investment dollars in the US in the third quarter--that's $1.6 billion.

  3. Aging populations.businesses are booming as the world’s population rapidly ages. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the aging-services industry, composed of home healthcare, elderly and disabled services and community care facilities for the elderly, make up three of the top 10 industries with the fastest employment growth. Universities are developing new degrees in aging-services management to meet the growing interest in the field and sporty new cars sell to more over 50s than any other age group. Anti aging cosmetics are also topping all best seller lists.

  4. Discount retail – have you noted how Woolworths has lots of costs savings now and 50% off ads, conspicuous consumption is out and careful shopping is in. Even Vogue has a more dash than cash regular section. high-end retailers are out, and discount shopping is in. Wal-Mart's earnings increased more than 5 percent in 2009, while Neiman Marcus reported a 14.8 percent drop in sales. In 2009, secondhand shops increased revenue by $223.3 million, according to IbisWorld.

  5. Home made and home grown is tracking the green trend to be a major trend. Demand is exploding for locally grown and made products--which means more support for mom-and-pop stores. The "buy local" ethos has its roots in the farmers markets movement and organic products: Nearly 60 percent of consumers say they try to shop at a farmers market.

  6. Skills training. Knowledge gets you places. The internet has fuelled an awareness that one degree, a single diploma or even two Masters are simply not enough to get ahead in a rapidly changing globalised world. Ongoing learning has never been more critical.

  7. Mobile, the world is increasingly in the palm of one hand – your mobile – everything from videos to your GPS, banking, payments, photographs – this is the fastest growing trend in the world today.

  8. More than half of all U.S. businesses are home-based and this trend has taken firm hold in South Africa too. About 6.6 million home-based enterprises provide at least half of their owners’ household income and together employ more than one in 10 private-sector workers. The rise of the homepreneur is a long-term trend that will continue to accelerate over the next decade. Fueled by technology and enabled by low costs, businesses of all kinds are finding there is no place like home.

  9. Social media - Facebook, Twitter and YouTube have forever changed marketing and advertising and are having a profound impact on all media. Every satisfied customer is now a booster for your company and every dissatisfied customer potentially can hurt your business. Now, there is more of an incentive for every company to get it right for their customer. This year, no bad deed will go unpublished by a dissatisfied customer.

  10. While classic analytic tools and applications have always done a good job of helping users understand what has happened and then analyze the root causes behind this performance, the value of this information is often stale before it reaches its intended audience. The resurgence of interest in event-driven architectures that leverage a technology known as Complex Event Processing and predictive analytics appear to be on their way to break out market acceptance. Complex Event Processing capabilities, a staple of extremely data-intensive, algorithmically-sophisticated industries such as financial services, have also become interesting to a number of other industries that can not deal with the amount of real-time data being generated and need to be able to capture value and decide instantaneously. Combining these capabilities will lead to new classes of applications for business management that were unimaginable a decade ago.


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