It’s a new year and it’s the perfect time for entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs to explore growth opportunities in global industries. Starting a new business venture is a risk, but rewards are great if you pick an industry on the rise.
There is a diverse spectrum of prime middle market opportunities to explore this year, including programs to analyze big data, software to increase employee engagement and innovation to preserve Earth’s precious natural resource – water.
Here are some of the best global industries to consider.
This fancy word is all the rage in the company culture conversation. According to Gallup, less than one-third (31.5%) of the US workforce was engaged at work in 2014. Employee engagement is more than an idea. It’s a tangible goal that business leaders need to consider to increase their bottom line.
The disengaged employee’s problem creates prime opportunities for developers to create gamification software. Platforms that set and track goals foster a competitive environment by tapping into people’s natural attraction to competition, achievements, and rewards. Gamification software increases an employee’s motivation and loyalty, which improves customer experience and a company’s bottom line.
Gamification tools are also appealing for consumers and present another opportunity for developers seeking a growing market. Platforms like Foursquare and Khan Academy reward users with status symbols and trophies for completing specific goals or check-ins.
2. Water Conservation
Access to clean water is a global crisis, affecting one out of eight people across the world. In addition, one out of every five deaths in children under the age of five is from a water-related disease, according to research obtained by INC. It may seem like a right we have as humans, but as our population continues to grow water will most definitely become one of the bigger global industries.
This crisis presents a promising opportunity for entrepreneurs with experience in engineering and biology. IBIS World reports that the water conservation industry is worth $62 billion domestically and it’s expected to continue a steady growth trend, with revenue projected to grow 14.8% by 2017.
Domestic opportunities are readily available due to the severe droughts in Texas and California over the past five years.
Scott Bryan, COO of water startup Imagine H20, suggests keeping an eye on wastewater treatment and water-energy connection. Since water is a non-replaceable natural resource, opportunity lies in the discovery of preserving water and using it as a source of sustainable energy.
3. Big Data
Big data is fascinating. Thanks to Moore’s Law, there are unlimited resources to create and house mass amounts of information for an affordable price. Businesses are taking advantage of these resources by tracking terabytes of customer data and analytics, which is great, but it’s currently dark data. In other words, companies do not know what to do with their information.
This is a huge opportunity for developers. According to market research from IDC, the big data industry grew from $3.2 billion in 2010 to $17 billion in 2015. That is seven times faster than the overall IT market.
Companies need software to mine and analyze big data to discover growth opportunities, trends and customer insight. Developers that create appealing imagery to make sense of the vast information are hot ticket commodities for businesses desperately seeking this imperative knowledge. In addition to understanding the current market, big data analysis allows companies to make informed predictions for future development.
4. Agricultural Software
Developers find another growth opportunity in agricultural software. The $1.5 billion industry is expected to grow to $2 billion in 2019. Similar to big data, farmers need software to mine and analyze the tremendous amounts of information being collected every day.
Global investors added this lucrative industry to their radar when Monsanto acquired Climate Corp. for $930 million in 2014.
There are multiple areas for developer growth in this sector including weather analytics and predictions, applications to manage irrigation and animal product tracking to measure quality and trends.
Although e-commerce isn’t a pioneer venture, it’s starting to grow in new sectors such as food delivery and in emerging consumer markets. IBISWorld reports that e-commerce will increase its annual revenue by 8.8% from 2012 to 2017.
Entrepreneurs with access to fresh produce have an edge on the growing market. Companies like Blue Apron sprouted in popularity last year, proving that this non-traditional e-commerce option is catching fire. The 2012 startup opened a fulfillment center 10 times its original size in 2014 and delivers, on average, one million meals per month across the country.
6. Wind, Solar, and Wave Energy
According to the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), the U.S. wind energy industry installed more than 1,600 megawatts (MW) of new wind capacity in the third quarter of 2015 with more than 3,500 MW installed in the first three-quarters of the year — this more than doubles the capacity installed during the first three-quarters of 2014.
The trend of alternative and clean energy growth is global as well. The IEA Medium-Term Renewable Energy Market Report 2015 report sees the share of renewable energy in global power generation rising to over 26% by 2020 from 22% in 2013.[Upadated 5/16/2016]
Once you’ve established your venture domestically, consider using Foreign Subsidiary as a Service (FSaaS). FSaaS can help you expand into any of these or other global industries. International expansion gives middle market companies tremendous growth potential. By using FSaaS, you can efficiently manage your overseas expansion and stay compliant. Also, feel free to reach out if you have any questions.