Bottoms Up Everyone: A New Economic Revolution Is Upon Us
by Bill Clerico, CEO of WePay Internet commerce technology has unleashed the capabilities of ordinary Americans to take matters into their own hands and craft—often literally—their own livelihoods. You can create and sell custom jewelry, find a room (or rent yours out) on Airbnb, drive your fellow citizens around with Uber, or find families that need some nanny help. Got a cool product idea? Backing could be just a few clicks away at a crowdfunding site. This is all thanks to websites designed to bring sellers and buyers together in new ways. Enter the Bottom-Up Economic Revolution. It’s a massive shift in the way we think about commerce, one that is made possible thanks to platform businesses — the online marketplaces, small business cloud-based companies and crowdfunding sites out there. They connect buyers and sellers in creative new verticals, helping merchants and non-profits interact with customers or donors. Thanks to the Bottom-Up Economic Revolution, there are more proprietors (those who receive all or part of their income through self-employment activities) than ever before—and their numbers are growing fast.
- As a percentage of total US employment, proprietors have steadily increased every year since 2000.
- The US labor force gained over 10 million more working proprietors between 2000 and 2012—with over 21% of working Americans receiving at least part of their income through self-employment. During the same time, the US labor force lost over a million private wage and salary workers.
- Between 2002 and 2012, enterprises with over 1000 employees lost over a 1 million employees. Enterprises with less than 25 people gained over a 1.5 million employees—nearly half of them going to enterprises that had 5 or fewer total employees.
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