Entrepreneurs may be in a position to gain a competitive advantage on offshore and domestic manufacturing companies, according to the most recent Global Entrepreneurship Monitor report. Rates of entrepreneurship are at their highest rate since GEM began tracking in 1999.
Small-business manufacturing firms are gaining an advantage as the economy continues to recover. Entrepreneurs are pursuing opportunities because they want to, not out of necessity. However, most entrepreneurs were focusing on growing their businesses within the U.S. instead of exporting products.
Demand for new high-quality items has created new opportunities for manufacturing entrepreneurs. Labor is more affordable, and the rise of automation is allowing smaller companies to innovate with fewer workers. Automation technology has reduced many of the advantages of offshoring labor to countries with lower costs, like India and China.
The rise of 3D printing has generated new possibilities for small-business manufacturers. Entrepreneurs can use 3D printing to make products on a smaller scale while keeping production cost-effective. The new technology is mainly used for prototyping, but 3D printing allows manufacturing to be more accessible to entrepreneurs. Technology is making it easier for small-business manufacturers to introduce innovative products into the market.