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Work is the fuel behind everything in your personal economy. It allows you to support your family, delve into your passions, provide new experiences, and it can also enable you to create your dream home. In a world that’s constantly changing, how does work define us?

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Exploring Personal Economy: Work

In this episode we explore all the different ways that work defines us in a world that is constantly changing.

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Working at what you love

Spotting a gap in any market is the first step in the journey to becoming an entrepreneur.

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According to research from the national enterprise campaign, 526,446 businesses were registered with Companies House in 2013, up 9% on 2012, and 19% on 2011. Entrepreneurship is on the rise and switching from a 9-to-5 job to the world of start-ups is not so uncommon anymore.

Start-ups often begin with a career change but they can also manifest themselves through problem solving.

Fashion entrepreneur Muriel Dupas spent 12 years in the finance industry where she worked her way up the ladder to find herself doing risk management for a large French banking group. What inspired her to get out of a predictable career trajectory was her desire to use her financial skills to support businesses with a creative spirit. “Fashion businesses were one of those businesses,” says Dupas “and there was a real gap in the market in terms of funding opportunities for them”.

Collaborating with creatives by channelling her wealth of experience and knowledge to fill a gap in the funding structure for fashion businesses fueled Dupas’ work adventures. She became involved in different entrepreneurial ventures, and co-founded the Fashion Technology Lab and soon afterwards, she started up AudaCity of Fashion, a crowdfunding platform.

Start-ups often begin with a career change but they can also manifest themselves through problem solving. Ayesha Mustafa, founded the sustainable online fashion boutique Fashion ComPassion, when she was looking for ways to marry up her two biggest interests: fashion and social enterprise. While these may have seemed at odds with one another, she forged a business model that fosters creative collaborations between artisans and gives back to the community. In a recent interview with The Guardian, Mustafa explains “Growing up in Pakistan and the Middle East, where one sees discrepancy in wealth, poverty and lack of opportunities – especially for girls and women – I wanted to create a platform that could directly help the most marginalised.” For over half a million entrepreneurs, a start-up is an opportunity to work with passion, vision and a compelling idea.

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More than 99% of all European businesses are Small and Medium Enterpirses (SMEs) and they provide two out of three of the private sector jobs and contribute to more than half of the total value-added created by businesses in the European Union.

Photo courtesy of Forbes
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