ICYDK, millennials will make up 75 percent of the workforce by 2025, 60 percent of them being women, and yes, that includes you, CG. You're tech-savvy, driven, brimming with optimism, and yearning to grow your own business while holding down your day job, making you poised to be part of the greatest entrepreneurial generation.
Don't let the sound of that intimidate you one bit. Thanks to technology, you can easily access the best resources to start your business via your smartphone. Crowdfunding helps thousands like you receive financing. Also, online shopping websites provide the platform for you to sell to a global market, whether you're offering handcrafted trinkets or your family's locally grown coffee beans.
If you're looking to nurture your entrepreneurial spirit or get business ideas, book a plane ride from Manila to Guangzhou, which hosts the Canton Fair, a.k.a. the China Import and Export Fair—China's largest and long-running exhibition of products and machines made in China. It features 150,000 exhibit varieties in 16 industries, so you're bound to get more than one good idea for your first or your next venture, or to improve what you have now to gain an edge over your competitors.
61st Canton Fair, Guangzhou, China
Canton Fair Complex, Guangzhou, China
This year marks the 61st Canton Fair, which will be from October 15 to November 4. Here are some things to expect there that might spark your inner entrepreneur.
1. Home decor
Have you always wanted to use your skills in arts and crafts to start your own home decor business? The Canton Fair's home decorations exhibit might be worth your while. Are you a plantita with a green thumb for no-fuss plants and terrariums? Or are you an artist with a penchant for glassblowing or rattan-weaving? Check out booths that display the final product for inspiration, or ones that show high-tech tools or machines that make it easier for you to bring your signature style to life.
2. Personal care products
Organic and vegan beauty products are becoming more popular. If you've always dreamed of starting your own line of beauty products, whether it's skincare or cosmetics (or both!), then the consumer goods section of the Canton Fair could spark your eco-conscious creativity. It might just help you come up with the next viral organic foundation or biodegradable makeup brush set that the beauty industry didn't know it needed.
3. Textiles and garments
If you're an aspiring designer, then your road to fashion week starts at the textiles and garments exhibit at the Canton Fair. Find inspiration from current trends and experiment with different fabrics to find the kind of signature look you want people to know is uniquely yours. Is your label more edgy and daring, feminine and whimsical, or functional and structured? Whatever you decide, allow your designer dreams to come to life.
There's a reason why food fairs and weekend markets have become popular. Owning a food business doesn't always require a lot of capital in the beginning, and people love to discover new twists and turns to make the food we love even better. Budding chefs and bakers should check out the food and native produce exhibit at the Canton Fair to stir up their inner foodie to create new products with distinct flavors.
The Canton Fair has three phases of exhibitions to fill your head with ideas and feed enthusiasm and become your own boss before 2018 ends. If you're ready to make that step, getting there is easier and more budget-friendly with AirAsia, which now has direct flights from Manila to Guangzhou.
Canton Tower, Guangzhou, China
AirAsia now also flies directly to Shanghai, Hangzhou, and Shenzhen, where you can take a break with your friends when you get caught up in your future business plans. Visit the AirAsia website, or download the AirAsia app to book your next adventure.