Statistics Canada (statscan.gc.ca) reported that 36,000 Canadians had become newly self-employed and that Americans had apparently not followed suit because of the lack of health care benefits among other factors. (The Globe and Mail reported the figure as 37,000). Anyway, it’s higher than at any time on record. Economists like Douglas Porter of BMO Nesbitt Burns have mixed feelings about this turn of events. While happy that people are taking care of themselves, there are worries that they have simply given up looking for work and are settling for low paid self-employment.
Building Their Own Businesses
Those building their own businesses retort that they are simply getting on with life and, besides what’s wrong with building your own business? Canadians started doing it in a big way in the1990s but actually, according to Walter Muller and Sylvia Luber in the paper “Socio-economic Development of Self-employment in Europe”, it’s also a growing trend in Western Europe as well (mzes.uni-mannheim.de).
While there is little chance that today’s self-employed person may found monolithic corporations, huge numbers almost everywhere earn very respectable livings. Despite Statistics Canada’s findings, the United States has its share, too.
The Inventiveness is Endless
Funnily enough, despite this technological age, craftspeople make up a hefty chunk of this population, fashioning everything from elaborate wall hangings and guitars to jewelry made with melted spoons and broken china. The inventiveness is endless. There are huge online communities made up of potters, musical instrument makers, silversmiths, wood turners, calligraphers, quilters, papier mache makers, stained glass and mosaic workers and knitters among other things. They sell their wares at shows, on eBay, etsy and from their own websites, gaining visibility by clustering on listing sites and portals. Some become so successful that they offshore their product lines.
Millions Working Online
In addition, there are millions working online as webmasters, portal builders, IT and intelligence specialists, bloggers, marketers and sellers of imported goods. Then there are farmers, shop keepers, contractors, handymen, dressmakers, caterers, graphic designers, artists, writers and consultants of all descriptions. Each one is building a business.
Hive of Industry
This hive of industry helps buoy the economy because, not only do its members stimulate purchasing, but they buy goods and services and pay taxes. Sure, someone who is a wilderness recluse may not, but everyone else does. As their businesses grow, they buy more and hire others so that before you know it, they have built thriving medium sized companies. The big jump comes when they diversify into or buy allied businesses.