In recent times, entrepreneurship has been sold and marketed to the world as the tool for complete financial liberation. More so, as a way for breaking away from the ‘system’ as some would prefer to say. In most urban and metropolitan areas, people are faced with the struggle of a high cost of living, limited living spaces and extreme cases of wealth distribution inequality. There is very little economic freedom and like evangelists, entrepreneurs-turned motivational speakers like Gary Vaynerchuk sell entrepreneurship as a quick remedy to all the financial ills that undoubtedly plague the urban masses.

So I have to ask, is entrepreneurship really the solution to most of our financial problems? With automation re-shaping the way the majority of different industries function, people are scrambling to either keep their jobs or finding alternative income streams as the threat of machines taking over looms over our heads. Now with all the apparent doom and gloom, how can people identify business opportunities in their immediate surroundings.

The trick is to observe the following in your immediate surrounding: the people, the conditions people are living in and the challenges that people face on a daily basis. Once you have done a comprehensive analysis of the above mentioned, it will become somewhat easier to come up with an idea that can become a catalyst to problem-solving. If you are innovative enough, you can create a new market or reshape an already existing market. Businesses essentially exist to serve people whether directly or indirectly. It goes without saying that people sit at the core of everything that a business plans to do. A business that can speak and connect to people in a human way affords itself the chance to attract more prospects.

Urban areas have their own distinct cultures that glue people together, and businesses that see culture as some form of currency often come out on top and beat their competition. These are the kind of businesses that push boundaries and prioritize reinvention, making them last much longer in their respective markets.

The world population is set to swell up to 9.7 billion by 2050 and that alone presents many challenges to world leaders, as per the United Nations. As the population continues to rise at alarming rate, governments are put under immense pressure to provide workable solutions to their people. However, we cannot leave the responsibility of solving all of our socio-economic challenges solely to our governments. Opportunities are presented to real entrepreneurs to reshape within existing markets or, to create markets as the requirements of people continue to evolve as time passes by.

Automation will be behind the death of many traditional jobs that came about during the industrial revolution – although I believe that it should not be as feared as it currently is. It should rather be embraced because it forms part of the greater human story. In the same light, the rising population numbers should also not be feared as they should be seen as an opportunity to come up with groundbreaking ideas that will enhance the human experience.

This article was originally published for and on Kasipreneur Magazine.