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Colleges and universities have discovered that entrepreneurship is an extremely popular courseof study. Disillusioned with corporate America’s downsized job offerings and less promising
career paths, a rapidly growing number of students sees owning a business as an attractivecareer option. Today more than 2,100 colleges and universities offer courses inentrepreneurship and small business to some 200,000 students. Many colleges and universitieshave difficulty meeting the demand for courses in entrepreneurship and small business.3.Demographic and economic factors.Nearly two-thirds of entrepreneurs start their businesses between the ages of 25 and 44 years,and much of our nation’s population falls into that age range. In addition, the economic growththat spanned most of the 1980s and 1990s created a significant amount of wealth amongpeople of this age group and many business opportunities on which they can capitalize.4.Shift to a service economy.The service sector produces 80 percent of the jobs and 64 percent of the Gross DomesticProduct (GDP) in the United States, which represents a sharp rise from just a decade ago.Because of their relatively low start-up costs, service businesses have become very popularamong entrepreneurs. The booming service sector continues to provide many businessopportunities, and not all of them are in high tech fields,5.Technological advances.With the help of modern business machines such as personal computers, laptop computers, faxmachines, copiers, color printers, answering machines, and voice mail, even one person workingat home can look like a big business. At one time, the high cost of such technological wizardrymade it impossible for small businesses to compete with larger companies that could afford thehardware.Today, however, powerful computers and communication equipment are priced within thebudgets of even the smallest businesses. Although entrepreneurs may not be able tomanufacture heavy equipment in their spare bedrooms, they can run a service- or information-based company from their homes very effectively and look like any Fortune 500 company tocustomers and clients.
6.Independent lifestyle.Entrepreneurship fits the way Americans want to live—independent and self-sustaining. Peoplewant the freedom to choose where they live, the hours they work, and what they do. Althoughfinancial security remains an important goal for most entrepreneurs, many place top priority onlifestyle issues such as more time with family and friends, more leisure time, and more controlover work-related stress.7.e-Commerce and the World Wide Web.The proliferation of the World Wide Web,the vast network that links computers around theglobe via the Internet and opens up oceans of information to its users, has spawned thousandsof entrepreneurial ventures since its beginning in 1993. Online commerce is growing rapidly(see Figure1.4), creating many opportunities for Web-savvy entrepreneurs. Travel services,computer hardware and sofware, books, music, videos, and consumer electronics are among