Benchmark’s Michael Eisenberg: Pay Attention to Micro Businesses

If you want to know where the job market is headed, Benchmark’s Michael Eisenberg recommends that you pay attention to the trend surrounding micro businesses or sub-SMEs, “where we have a lot of talented people that have gotten laid off or have left their jobs in corporate America that are starting businesses on their own.”

“This is creating incredible opportunities both for the American economy and for startups and services that can service those micro businesses,” Eisenberg told StreetID.

While startups are typically associated with Silicon Valley and the tech industry, the financial sector is booming with new talent and fresh companies that are springing up all over the world.

BillGuard, a finance security service that specializes in uncovering deceptive, erroneous, and fraudulent credit card charges, was a headliner at last year’s TechCrunch Disrupt conference. eToro, a social trading platform, grew from a small startup in 2007 to an enterprise that serves 2.75 million users in more than 140 countries. Hub Culture, a growing firm that created a digital currency called Ven, signed a deal with Thomson Reuters last year to bring Ven to the financial markets.

These are the kinds of financial firms that people are turning to for jobs. Kerry Given, Founder and Managing Director of Parkwood Capital, LLC, recently told StreetID that job seekers should take note of the specialty niches created by the brokerages that are “starting up and growing,” particularly those that are serving a specific market segment.

In June, Motif Investing, a startup that aims to simplify the task of investing in trends and big ideas, announced that it was in hiring mode.

Ultimately, financial job opportunities can be found anywhere — and not just for traders on Wall Street.

“I think this is the next big trend: enabling and empowering the individual entrepreneur to succeed,” said Eisenberg. “If the hallmark of the 20th century was corporation, the hallmark of the 21st century is collaboration. Instead of trying to put all these people into one corporate structure under one roof to do lots of things, I think you’ll see them under lots of corporate structures but collaborating across businesses. And you’ll see lots of sub-SMEs or micro businesses finding new ways to collaborate with each other. Social, as a general category, has not just changed the way people play — it has changed the way people work.”

During our discussion, Eisenberg also spoke about how technology has changed the way entrepreneurs start businesses. “Technology has made starting a business cheaper,” he said. “It’s a lot cheaper to start a business today than ever before, so the need for capital has gone down to get started, on some level.”

And without technology, investors would not be able to buy shares of new companies before their initial public offerings. But because of firms like SecondMarket and SharesPost — which are growing and hiring (full-time employees and interns every summer) — investors can buy into smaller financial firms. These investment opportunities include Saxo Bank, an international online investment bank that just happens to be hiring, and Lending Club, an online lender that is currently looking for a senior financial analyst.

“I think the generation that is coming of age into the workforce, beginning of this century, is much more collaborative than maybe the generations before from the last century,” Eisenberg added. “Enabling them to start up their own businesses, innovate, become entrepreneurs, then collaborate with others is a giant opportunity for the coming decades. It’s the remaking of the American economy.”

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These days, job seekers have a million options, but we know where they should turn: StreetID. We built StreetID (a financial career matchmaking website) from the ground up to accommodate Wall Street’s growing community of financial professionals. In good times and in bad, current job seekers and those looking to move on in the future can turn to StreetID and sign up for a free account and make a direct connection with relevant candidates and employers.

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