As the economy continues to struggle and jobs remain elusive, the traditional career path is becoming increasingly obsolete. Even qualified college graduates and highly experienced professionals are struggling to find meaningful and fulfilling employment. Many must turn to freelancing or business start-ups as a solution.

For today’s young adult, this is the reality of making a living, so much so that in North Carolina, the increasing self-employment movement is being referred to as Generation Z’s “My own thing” economy. North Carolina is making a push to help this movement thrive in the hopes that it will boost the sagging economy, and they are not alone. Many people see emerging entrepreneurs not just as the key to reviving our economy, but as the future face of the American workforce. Already, nearly 20% of American workers are paid on a contract basis and do not hold a traditional job.

Still, the path of self-employment is not an easy one. Young entrepreneurs need networking and collaboration opportunities, mentoring, and access to resources and cost-efficient necessities. Perhaps it is unsurprising, then, that the coworking movement is growing at a pace with the “My own thing” economy. Coworking offers many of the things that will help young entrepreneurs to be successful. By giving them cost-efficient access to work spaces, office supplies, and office machinery that they would not otherwise be able to afford, coworking sites help young businesses to present a more professional and trustworthy face and to run in a more professional and efficient manner.

Coworking sites also give entrepreneurs access to networking and collaboration opportunities. They can meet other entrepreneurs that might be able to complement their current skill sets and services. They might also meet entrepreneurs working in their field that can give them pointers on starting and growing a business. Because coworking is based on a community-oriented and cooperative attitude, most people participating in such sites are more than willing to collaborate. This mutual cooperation helps small businesses and start-ups to grow much more quickly and easily than they have been able to previously.

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