Stop in most any big-city café and you’re bound to see solopreneurs in action, if fingers typing and faces Skyping count as action. Freelance writers and startup founders set up shop at their favorite tables for a few hours, paying rent of sorts with cups of cappuccino. The neighborhood therapist, the music store owner and the house painter stop in for a bite. It’s industry, humming along — quietly, independently, often remotely.
Solopreneurship isn’t just an urban phenomenon, though.
The town of Hamden, Conn., population roughly 61,000, early this year recognized the freelancer-sole proprietor community as an economic force. The Hamden Economic and Community Development Office teamed with the Hamden Regional Chamber of Commerce to launch an effort on behalf of “home-based business and solopreneurs.”
“Solopreneurs are single-person businesses that operate either out of someone’s home, in a virtual location or in a rented space. Although solopreneurs are often also home-based businesses, each can have different needs for marketing, services and financing,” the community development office says, estimating that more than 300 businesses in Hamden qualify.
The Hamden chamber and town “believe that this is an important area for potential growth,” their announcement says. While both entities already offered programs for such businesses, they planned to develop a full plan of services.
Hamden recently recognized solopreneurs as its ninth industry sector, the New Haven Register reports. The economic development office has assembled a couple dozen solopreneurs to talk about business topics and network with each other, the newspaper reports.
Nonemployer businesses, primarily sole proprietorships, comprise a majority of all U.S. business establishments but account for fewer than 4 percent of all sales and receipts nationally, the U.S. Census Bureau says.