Three major forces creating headwinds for aspiring small business owners
Democratizing the CEO and reinventing the American Dream
Six laws for platforms that enable entrepreneurship
We continue to see this trend play out across our portfolio. For example, Melanie Perkins started Canva to make design accessible to all. While teaching a design course to students, Melanie saw how difficult it was to use existing tools from Microsoft and Adobe even for seemingly simple projects like creating a yearbook. To test this idea, Melanie built Fusion Books, an online school yearbook design business that remains a standalone company today, and served as the foundation for Canva’s product.
Landscape of enabling entrepreneurship
Using these six criteria, we are looking to back companies across these three segments:
- Vertical platforms specific to a type of work, such as a Shopify for commerce or Teachable for online courses. Generally these are the core systems of record and work where core creation and management occurs.
- Engagement and monetization tools that help to grow an entrepreneur’s audience and build direct relations with end consumers. This includes companies like Bessemer’s newest portfolio company, Tribe, which provides community management tools, or StreamYard which makes it easy for anyone to create a professional livestream.
- G&A automation software tools automate the back office complexities of starting and scaling a business. This includes both the initial setup processes such as incorporating and licensing, but also ongoing work such as taxes and payroll, essential to continuing operations.
The new wave of entrepreneurship
A new wave of entrepreneurship is about to crest. The technologies and tools that support every facet of small businesses and solopreneurship will fuel economic growth and opportunity.
We are eager to work with builders that are helping their peers make a lasting impact on their unique industries. With new tools to enable entrepreneurship, we won’t be surprised to see an order of magnitude more millennials and Gen Zers become self-employed in the next ten to twenty years.
If you are working on a company in this ecosystem or want to learn more about how we think about building and investing in these businesses, please email us directly. Reach out to Talia Goldberg (firstname.lastname@example.org), Sakib Dadi (email@example.com), or Lindsey Li (firstname.lastname@example.org).