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Entrepreneur Month celebrates business starters’ contributions

If you’re an entrepreneur, pat yourself on the back. You may have initially explored self-employment and building a business to meet personal goals, but you’re doing the world a favor.

Entrepreneurs are essential to the growth of the economy and the betterment of our world. By taking your creative ideas and pursuing your passion, you’re making an impact that will ripple throughout your community, your state and even the nation.

Today’s entrepreneurs aren’t constrained by geography and have a constantly evolving set of tools at their fingertips.

Christina Aldan, founder of Luckygirl Designs in Las Vegas, understands the value of recognizing an opportunity and leveraging today’s technology to make it successful as an entrepreneur.

“If luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity, then technology has empowered us to create our own luck,” Aldan said. “It used to be that you would get a job out of college, move to your company’s location, and retire with that same company after 30-plus years.

“Now, technology has allowed us to create our own opportunities from almost anywhere on the planet,” Aldan added. “Technology has empowered an underserved workforce population with the tools to create careers that blaze their own path.”

November is National Entrepreneur Month and to celebrate all you do, here are three (of the many) reasons entrepreneurs are so important — and why small businesses like yours deserve a special time of recognition this month.

Entrepreneurs fuel creativity and innovation in the business market.

Entrepreneurs change the world with their ideas — and lead to waves of innovation that can transform a marketplace within a few years.

By being a trailblazer in your industry, you spur other companies to change the way that they do business, too. History is full of entrepreneurs who took initiative and made lasting change — imagine the world of computing without Bill Gates or try to picture the landscape of online shopping without Jeff Bezos. Even if your business goals are on a smaller scale than Microsoft or Amazon, you’re still inspiring innovation that can change the world.

As Aldan says, “I am energized and inspired knowing that a person can run a successful business with just a smartphone and a laptop. The Internet of Things will be 50 billion strong by the year 2020. So 2015 is the time to make your mark in that space.”

If you’re an entrepreneur, you know that deciding to start your business was likely a tough choice. And if you’re contemplating a leap into entrepreneurism here’s some good news: although there is risk involved in starting your own business, now’s a great time to take the leap. The Sage Business Index found that more than half (54 percent) of U.S. businesses would describe themselves as risk seekers. In the last year there was a 7 percent increase in the number of business leaders who identified themselves as a risk seeker. Taking risks is becoming more acceptable, even encouraged in the marketplace, especially as we continue to see businesses look for ways to differentiate, which is positive for current and future entrepreneurs.

Entrepreneurs create new jobs for talented people.

When entrepreneurs decide to delegate and hire full time employees, they look for the best and the brightest. They want employees who share their vision for a better world — and that means there are more opportunities for talented people to find meaningful work. Entrepreneurs provide a steady paycheck and great opportunities for those workers which, in turn, can have a big effect on the economy. As those workers use their paychecks to buy goods and services, the economy benefits.

The Sage Small Business Index found that the majority of small and midsized businesses (58 percent) expect their revenue to grow by an average of 3.1 percent in the next year. 44 percent of businesses say the number of people their businesses employ will also increase in the next year.

This optimism about revenue growth boosts the economy. And increased hiring helps to decrease unemployment, resulting in additional discretionary income, fueling local economies. It’s win-win.

Entrepreneurs consistently contribute to the economy.

Entrepreneurs may start small — but they have a major impact. Whether through taxes, making sales or hiring employees, entrepreneurs have historically been the group to contribute the most to the economy. Whenever this country has experienced a deep recession or depression, small businesses have led the charge into financial recovery. Although they may not generate the billions of dollars that megacorporations do, their financial growth is directly tied to the success of the national economy.

U.S. businesses are confident about their prospects for the next year, the Sage Business Index shows. Confidence is the highest it’s been in four years, rising 2.88 points to 67.53 in the last year. Confidence in businesses’ local economies is rising, too.

Entrepreneurs like you built this country — and that’s why National Entrepreneur Month is the perfect time to recognize all the hard work and perseverance entrepreneurs have achieved. Take risks. Be confident. Be proud.

Connie Certusi is executive vice president and general manager of Sage Small Business Solutions, Sage North America.

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