Trendwatch: Rise of the joypreneur

Henry Mason

The boundaries between consumer and provider were blurred years ago. Today, millions of consumers have turned sellers via platforms such as eBay, or are creators who bring their projects to the world via crowdfunding sites such as Kickstarter.

Rising numbers of consumers are looking to brands to help them as they move beyond informal participation in the peer-to-peer economy, and become fully fledged entrepreneurs. We call them 'Joypreneurs'.

What's driving more consumers to become Joypreneurs? First, there's democratised access to the marketplace: the online space and the new tools and platforms that are a part of it allow millions to design and make products. And, crucially, allow them to sell the products around the world.

Access to the network also radically changes the risk calculus. Joypreneurs without resources can crowdfund, raising funds in advance of production, and testing the market response before they've spent much, if anything.