Many who have been laid off or are trying to break into the workforce in a new field have been met with the reality of an economy in a downturn. Jobs are in short order. Opportunities to change careers are scant. And the outlook for the future does not bring promise. So many people are finding that during their “meanwhile” time, starting their own business might just be a blessing in disguise. It helps generate income while you seek other pursuits and if successful enough it just might be the last job you ever have.

Entrepreneur Magazine touts three key markets for start ups in 2009: the Green Market, the Millennial, Market and the Boomer Market.

Green Market
Currently the Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability market is worth $209 billion and covers areas from water and clean energy to organics. Big names like H&M, Nike and Target now carry green apparel lines, but there’s still room for entrepreneurs.

The exploding craft market–now $30 billion per year, according to the Craft & Hobby Association–is not just turning consumers into creators; it’s inspiring a new breed of entrepreneur – and many of their products are green! is a place where $20 million handmade products from 65,000 sellers have been sold since 2005. While craft supplies like jewelry kits, knitting supplies and scrapbooking materials are popular sellers, so are the end results of those crafts.

Millennials Market
Also known as Generation Y, “echo boomers” and the “net generation,” Millennials were born anywhere from the late 1970s to the early 2000s. They are for the most part under 30 and account for $1 trillion in buying. They spend a lot of time on the Web, are the 9/11 generation, are very socially responsible, feel obligated to make a difference in the world. They own brands and messaging as they comment throughout the Web on just about anything. Millennials want to find clever products that meet their high expectations with solid customer service.

Baby Boomers Market
On the other end of the spectrum, you’ll find boomers, the 76-million-strong generation born between 1946 and 1964 that accounts for $2 trillion in annual spending. When determining their needs, think about life stages as age is just a number to boomers. Think of them in terms of their needs for that stage: empty nesters, singles, grandparents and so on.

Financial planning, travel and anti-aging products and services are just a few of the booming market segments to consider. As boomers age healthcare staffing becomes a growing industry. The Bureau of Labor Statistics shows an expected shortfall of more than 1 million nurses by 2020. It helps to have more than just recruiting and staffing experience; you need to have your finger on the pulse of the medical community. “At the end of the day, you have to have a genuine interest in your candidates’ lives.

The population is aging – by 2030, the number of adults age 65 and older will double to 70 million. No one is feeling the crunch more than baby boomers, who now find themselves in the “sandwich generation”–caring for both their children and their aging parents. An estimated 44 million Americans provide care for elderly family or friends. is an example of a media company that provides news, information and community advice to baby boomer women.

Helping both the sandwich generation and seniors is Pamela J. Braun, a licensed clinical social worker who founded Geriatric Assessment, Management & Solutions LLC in Sun City, Arizona. She provides assessment and evaluation, medical appointment coordination and medical/legal power of attorney services. With annual sales between $300,000 and $400,000, Braun, 43, says, “The biggest reward is being an advocate and knowing you’re making a difference in the quality of these people’s lives.”

Senior Products
As Americans age, they become more concerned about brain health. Five million Americans already suffer from Alzheimer’s disease, and that number is expected to rise to 16 million by 2050, according to data from The Alzheimer’s Foundation of America.

Dakim Inc. created the mPower Cognitive Fitness System which is a touchscreen system that lets seniors play games, puzzles and other challenging and fun cognitive activities. The owner got the idea after designing games for his father, who was suffering from Alzheimer’s and sold the product to senior living facilities.

According to the American Association of Retired People, 90 percent of seniors want to stay in their homes as they age. In-home nonmedical care companies provide services to help them do just that. To enter the assisted living market, start by approaching caregivers. Think about what would make life easier for both patients with dementia symptoms and their caregivers.

As the oldest of the 77 million U.S. boomers begin retiring, their open positions will offer younger boomers new opportunities. Smart executive recruiting firms will target these seasoned workers and find places for them to put their talents to work as many do not want to become sedentary in retirement and many need additional income.

According to the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association, the number of health club members over age 55 increased 314 percent from 1990 to 2005. Senior fitness facilities are becoming more popular. American Senior Fitness Association ( has info on the industry.

So if you are in a “meanwhile” time of your life, read up and study some new opportunities that may be out there. Think outside of the box. Could starting your own business be an opportunity for you? Start now!
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Millionaire Women Look Ahead:

Eight Rules for Dining Etiquette:

“What Do You Do?” – How to Write Your Elevator Speech:

Recession Resistant Careers:

8 Steps to Connect With Someone New – More Than Networking:

Are You Leading Your Life or an Actor in Your Own Drama:

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Begin With a Success Sketch and Hang it Where You Will See It:

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Mary Lee Gannon went from being a stay-at-home mother with four children to divorce, poverty and then on to become a newspaper reporter, trade association executive director, public relations consultant, and foundation president and CEO. View Mary Lee’s free career tips, worksheets and Blog on her website at Contact Mary Lee at