Facebook pixel What’s New for 2022? Entrepreneurial Trends in a Rapidly Changing Climate | Pepperdine Graziadio Business School Skip to main content
Pepperdine | Graziadio Business School

What’s New for 2022? Entrepreneurial Trends in a Rapidly Changing Climate

Entrepreneurship Trends 2022

With the start of every year, a slew of new trends seemingly follow suit. Regardless of the time or status, new trends typically take shape in Western culture with a sense of voyeurism—giving a sneak peek into “what’s new” for the coming ages. 

Some of these trend’s gain notoriety and sustain a long shelf life, while others become synonymous with fads and leave us wondering if we genuinely gained anything from the experience. And, on the rarest of occasions, some trends find an ultimate purpose and become cemented into normalcy.

Whatever the case, trends continue to influence culture and society, pushing us further into exploring the realms of possibility.

In the world of business, trends can come and go, but some of these “trends” are more notably “beta-test” business strategies companies deploy to see how a particular action or decision plays out in the market and the broader public arena (i.e., permanent work-from-home culture).

So, to answer the question “what’s new for 2022?”, we’ll explore current and emerging trends that are shaping the business environment in which so many of us live and work.

Nature’s Calling: Green Careers

Most notably, there’s been an uptick in environmentally-focused careers. As mentioned in one of our previous features, LinkedIn’s Global Green Skills Report 2022 found that there’s an uptick in “green talent”, increasing steadily by 38% year over year.

Why? The blunt answer is there’s a looming climate crisis that many have long ignored until recent years. The more complex answer is humanity is on the precipice of discovering new and innovative technologies, processes, and ways of living that doesn’t compromise the wellbeing of the planet.

Furthermore, it’s important to note that many entrepreneurial ventures are brought to life by the pursuit of trying to solve problems. In fact, some argue (like the Sharks on Shark Tank) that the fundamental principle of a business is to solve a problem.

With all of that in mind, green careers are experiencing tremendous growth because they are needed. Plain and simple. From a world that is experiencing sporadic climate change, severe drought, billions of pounds of plastic waste ending up in oceans and vulnerable communities, our planet is facing ecological problems left and right, and the demand for solutions is needed now more than ever.

Socially Conscious at the Core

In tandem with entrepreneurial ventures focused on finding environmental solutions, various businesses (both big and small) and emerging brands are popping up in the “socially conscious” space—striving to impact more than their corporate bottom lines.

There are quite a few reasons this trend is on the rise and most likely will become (hopefully) standard practice for all businesses globally, but the most obvious reason is conscious business practices (whether socially, environmentally, or both) are great optics. Think of a brand like Bombas—selling high-quality socks with a consumer model that directly correlates consumption with a positive impact on society. Through their “Designed for Donation” model, the more Bombas sells, the more they donate to at-need causes.

While the Donating Behavior Model (DBM) isn’t a “one size fits all” solution, it’s a critical trend that’s taking a bigger share of the market as years press on. Why? Because very few consumers are going to contest supporting companies that treat their stakeholders just as well as the customers they’re trying to sell to. In the past companies may have made generous donations purely out of necessity (typically to help shift bad optics), but the emerging entrepreneurial trends of today are weaving socially conscious ideas into the core model of the business.

Technology Continues to Change Our Work and Life

The global pandemic further solidified technologies’ role in modern society—specifically as it relates to the global workforce. Technology allows for talented professionals to tap into the power of remote work, flexible working structures, and the opportunity to explore emerging technologies that are paving the way for the future of work.

According to LinkedIn, “artificial intelligence will require the entire workforce to learn new skills”, meaning that technological skills are becoming non negotiable when it comes to performing successfully in both high-caliber careers and blue-collar jobs. 

Advancements in technology are also driving the demand for permanent flexibility. The pandemic also showed that (some) work can be done digitally without negatively impacting performance, quality, and the overall bottom line of the business. Now that both employers and employees have experienced fully remote work, there’s a new threshold talented professionals expect employers to meet (and vice versa) when it comes to offering a flexible remote or hybrid working schedule. LinkedIn data reports that “40% of Millennials say flexibility to work from anywhere is a priority when evaluating job opportunities”.

With both of those points in mind, it’s critical to pinpoint what you want out of a career and to make sure that those priorities are met when searching for the right career opportunity.

Never Giving Up Along the Way

When it comes to entrepreneurship, most entrepreneurs will tell you that it’s work—a lot of work. It can be grueling and defeating at times, but ultimately makes success that much sweeter when it’s accomplished.

While every situation is different, most entrepreneurial ventures don’t start flushed with cash, fully fledged ideas, infrastructure, and systems in place. Sometimes it takes a little elbow grease to get things going, and even then, it still might not feel like enough.

On the flipside, even if you are part of a Silicon Valley startup with seed money to last you for the foreseeable future, it’s still going to be a tremendous amount of work.

The point to take away here is to make sure you have enough time and resources to pursue your entrepreneurial ventures. In today’s economic climate, with inflation rising nearly 7% in one year, entrepreneurship (for some) may look a little like juggling multiple jobs to supplement an entrepreneurial journey.

Working diligently and staying committed isn’t a trend that is new in entrepreneurship, it’s simply a habit that’s had a steady journey over decades of entrepreneurs.

“New” Skills Aren’t Always New

The last trend that’s vital to note is that some “trends” are not trends at all, but rather actions constantly in practice that experience an uptick in demand during certain situations. LinkedIn’s Future of Skills report states “Skills are quickly evolving in every job, but many of the top skills of today are quite similar to the top skills of the past…” alluding to the fact that trends aren’t always new, but rather see a more prominent resurgence as the world adapts to changing needs.

Keeping that in mind, it may be best to look less for what’s trendy and more for what works. Because when something works, and works well, it shouldn’t matter how “trendy” it is, as long as it continues to serve its purpose, keeps pace with the rest of the world, and doesn’t cause any negative impacts to humanity, animals, or the environment. 

A Trend to Always Remember

It’s fair to say that trends are a part of life. They will most likely always be an integral part of society and continue to change the way in which we do, well, everything. However, regardless of trends, there’s one act that should always remain constant in all time periods—empathy. 

Empathy is a critical skill that works well in various scenarios, both in business and personal situations. Why? Because it allows us to create and promote solutions that benefit us all, not put ourselves on top.

It’s up to us to set the pace for how decisions, trends, and other positive things come into the world. Environmentalism, ethical business practices, humane treatment of animals, and working to make the world a better place shouldn’t have to come out of necessity, rather it should come from the genuine desire to do good in this world.

The world needs and depends on leaders who make decisions based on what’s right—and that’s a trend that never should go out of style.