By Maria Pinelli
Maria Pinelli is Global Vice Chair of Strategic Growth Markets for Ernst & Young Global. She oversees EY’s business unit that is the world leader in advising, guiding and recognizing entrepreneurs and high-growth companies. She advises clients who are focused on accelerating growth and achieving market leadership.
This creative, hard-working and often unconventional community of high achievers is once again doing its share to help raise the standard of living in the countries where they operate.
The world’s economic lifeblood remains in good hands.
For the third straight year, we surveyed these dynamic entrepreneurs and they told us:
- They expect their employee rolls to increase in 2014 — this time by nearly 19%, an increase from the 16% reported in 2012 and 2013. 76% of respondents expect to add to their global workforce this year
- Despite fluctuating economic forecasts, 61% revealed they are confident, very confident or extremely confident in the economic direction of the market they know best — their home country.
- Only 47% express the same level of optimism in the world economy as a whole. Nonetheless, this will not hold them back from entering new markets. More than half of our respondents say they expect to look overseas to grow their products and services.
Tapping into technology
This time around, we also asked about the role technology plays in job creation. More than half of all respondents agree or strongly agree that investments made in technology led to a workforce change — and of those respondents, 81% said that it increased their workforce, by an average of 13%. Other positives cited from applications of technology:
- Higher productivity and efficiency
- Improvement in quality
- Overcoming geographic barriers
- Attracting talent
As for the impact on entrepreneurs’ existing workforce, we learned technology largely improved our respondents’ overall cost competitiveness and made their employees more mobile.
Our women respondents, in particular, cited the more mobile workforce (64% versus, 41% of their male counterparts) as an asset enabled by technology — perhaps because of their increased awareness of work-life balance and job flexibility issues.
So my final thoughts? Keep going. Keep growing. Keep building that better working world.
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Maria is truly passionate about supporting entrepreneurs and is heavily involved in creating a support network for such business enterprises and founded the Strategic Growth Forum which convenes high-growth companies to share insight and expertise of the market.
She also supervises EY’s renowned Entrepreneur Of The Year® program worldwide and founded EY’s Entrepreneurial Winning Women™ program in 2008, designed to accelerate the growth of high-potential female entrepreneurs.