As we rapidly approach the end of the year, attention in the business world naturally turns to the next 12 months.
After spending another year with the world flipped on its head, facing adversity from all angles, there’s a widespread desire and commitment from organisations to play their part in improving things – particularly those in their infancy with the opportunity to drive positive change from the offset.
Startups are typically more values-based and therefore don’t need to become part of the circus that celebrates profits over people, and unrelenting growth over real human consequences. Companies like these are thriving in difficult times, as their culture and mission enables them to adapt to what’s most important now.
So what trends can we expect to see from start-ups in 2022?
Keeping it green
Sustainability is at the top of the global agenda and businesses are under increasing pressure from society as a whole and their employees – who are becoming more environmentally savvy by the day. As well as encouraging behavioural change among workforces, start-ups are set to boost their green credentials through the adoption of green tech. Although the market is relatively young, it has garnered a significant amount of investor interest and will be in high demand, as consumers seek more green options and funders value sustainable businesses.
As the saying goes, ‘when people come together, great things happen’ – and that’s exactly what we’re set to see in 2022. If the last two years have taught us anything, it’s the value of connection and over the next 12 months, start-ups will be harnessing the power of people to create tech that supports a changing world and helps facilitate lasting behavioural and environmental change. We know that technology has the power to do many things, and changing the world is one of them. We’re privileged to be living in a time where science and technology can rethink the ways we go about our daily lives and make our day-to-day routines easier. The technology we’re already exposed and accustomed to has paved the way for us to innovate further and as demand increases, start-ups are poised to deliver on it.
The number of new startups continues to grow and predictions indicate that this will continue into 2022. Entrepreneurialism across all sectors is booming and the rise in ‘no-code’ platforms is a key driving force. This technology is making it significantly easier to write programs to automate processes within a business. If you can navigate an Excel spreadsheet, there’s a good chance you can develop complex solutions using these new platforms. We are already starting to see the mass adoption of this technology and it’s set to continue to rise in popularity over the following year, effectively democratising the ability to automate business processes.
The unfolding digital transformation presents a huge opportunity for emerging market startups to bring their innovation and tech expertise to the table, especially as foreign investors are flocking to more diverse countries. Existing startups are moving into new geographies, and countries like many in western Africa are starting to see the beginning of their own tech boom. This is the year that startup tech starts to go truly global.
Mind the gap
Alongside sustainability, DE&I is a top priority and increasingly, businesses are seeking technology that supports their efforts to achieve and promote equality. Tech has been developed to help tackle gender and pay gaps – particularly within fintech. Over the course of 2022, we’ll see other tech industries learn to follow suit and as long as equality at the board remains high on the agenda, startups operating in this space will grow quickly.
2022 offers a springboard for startups to not only succeed in their own rights, but provide other businesses with the tools they need to enhance operations and culture. In doing so, society as a whole improves – a much needed dose of positivity after a period of sheer unpredictability.