The Editor's View
By Katrice L. Mines, Editor
A rapidly increasing amount of my friends are self-employed. And I’m confident that I’ve heard each of them say, at some point, that they’d have it no other way. Some transitioned from corporate jobs to small business ownership and entrepreneurial life, and others knew all along that being their own bosses was the path they would take. They’re not an anomaly. In this new recession era, more and more young executives are entering the professional arena through the door of self-employment.
Is the résumé-driven society a thing of the past? Almost. The surge of micro enterprise has intensified over the past four years as the unemployment rate has lingered between 7 and 10 percent. According to The Small Business Majority, an advocacy group founded and run by small business owners to focus on solving the biggest problems facing small businesses, the small business economy includes 6 million businesses and 21.7 million self-employed people. Anyone with a sound plan, business model, ambition and desire to launch can take advantage of a plethora of resources — from conferences, councils and lending to mentorship — cultivated around the growing crop of self-starters. The key word here is resources; strategy is imperative. There are plenty of obstacles … as many as there are resources. Thus, this indeed is an economic time that favors the well-prepared.
According to federal data, roughly half of all new businesses fail within the first five years -— proof that entrepreneurial life is more grunt than glamour. And yet on the flipside of that statistic remains those that are able to survive and thrive. That’s why we love this issue of up-and-coming movers and shakers. Aside from the annual Best of Atlanta edition in November, AT’s Young Executive issue is the only other full-blown effort dedicated to introducing you to the future Who’s Who of Atlanta business and entrepreneurship. I believe you’ll be as impressed as we are.
We also have our eyes on James Bailey of Operation HOPE Atlanta and filmmaker Katherine Cheairs. Bailey, CEO of Operation HOPE, talks about how financial literacy, success and failure transformed him from charmed in business to savvy in pursuit. Cheairs, also a professor, is working her way up the cinema ladder one documentary at a time.
Need to know where to start on your own launch? We’ve got you covered there as well. Associate editor Kamille D. Whittaker sat down with four of Atlanta’s power players for an insider’s perspective on what it takes for aspiring leaders, young executives and entrepreneurs to insert themselves into the fabric of Atlanta be it professionally, politically, philanthropically, civically or socially. This month, cover to cover — a must-read.