Private Debt Market Expected To Double By 2025, According To Industry Experts

From a ‘fringe’ asset class to nimble backbone of Australia’s booming non-bank and construction sector, the growth of Australia’s private debt market has been nothing short of phenomenal over the last decade. And it’s not gone unnoticed globally, with US fund management giant Apollo Global Management taking a 50% stake in a local non-bank lender Max Cap this month.

“It’s certainly a sign the sector is coming of age,” says AltX Co-CEO Nick Raphaely, who founded his alternative investment platform in the aftermath of the GFC. “Investors no longer question whether the asset class has merits – they are more interested in whether the deal matches what they’re looking for in terms of risk and return.”

And what they’re looking for right now is yield.

“When we think about our mandate, our first job is to protect capital for worth clients, and in a low-interest environment they are happy to dedicate a significant proportion to private debt because it has a reasonable return,” says Nick.

Investors in this asset class can earn up to three or four times what retail investors might get on conservative fixed-income positions. For wholesale clients who can manage semi-liquidity, private debt deals, and fund structures are very attractive.

As Director of KPMG’s Debt Advisory Services, Matt McKenna has seen what he calls a “significant” emergence in private debt over the past 5 years, and non-bank lending. “Increasingly, we are seeing alternative pools of capital fund our clients’ transactions, as they seek greater levels of flexibility than more traditional financing arrangements can provide,” he says.

“From an investor perspective, there’s also limited cash returns in the current interest rate environment. So we’re seeing investors seeking out the yield they’re missing in aspects of their portfolio through other asset classes, which includes private debt funds.”

Rapid growth post-GFC

Globally, private debt is projected to increase 11.4% annually to $1.46 trillion by the end of 2025. According to Preqin, Australia’s private capital market offers one of the most attractive risk/return profiles globally, and assets under management rose steadily in 2020 to a record $77 billion.

“We estimate the commercial lending market is around $300 billion, and non-bank lending is about 10% of that,” says Domenic Lo Surdo, Joint Managing Director Stamford Capital. “I think it could easily double in the next five years.”

As one of Australia’s leading commercial brokers, Stamford Capital has seen a steady shift in borrower appetite to work with non-bank lenders. “It’s all about speed of execution and flexibility, as well as capacity to deliver on terms outside where banks are able to trade,” Domenic says.

The private debt market was effectively decimated by the GFC when government-guaranteed bank deposits ended the traditional debenture model and foreign banks exited the market. So how has the new non-bank sector grown so quickly?

“Australia has a limited number of large banks, and they can never cover the entire commercial lending landscape – they would simply be over-concentrated in one asset class,” explains Nick. “But without debt funding, the bricks and mortar of Australia simply wouldn’t exist.”

Domenic says there were no non-bank lenders operating in construction funding immediately after the GFC. “With policy and regulatory constraints on the banking sector, the private debt market has evolved to include new entrants, different products, and a growing appetite for risk. And as it matures, the price gap between the bank and non-bank capital continues to compress.”

Stamford Capital’s 2021 Debt Capital Markets Survey highlighted the intensifying competition for deals amongst non-bank lenders, with two-thirds of respondents expecting non-banks to increase construction lending activity.

Domenic says Stamford gets calls every week from new private lenders and is very careful to only work with those who will keep delivering certainty through a project. “There are opportunistic players, very short-term in their thinking. We only want to work with those who will still be around in 10 years’ time.”

Matt agrees, saying “it almost feels like every week someone is calling me from a new credit fund… while we expect the borrower demand for private debt to continue to expand, at the same time I expect to see a level of consolidation on the supply side given there are so many alternative capital providers chasing similar opportunities.”

The hunt for yield

While demand for capital has remained constant, it’s clear the supply side of the equation has taken off. “There’s a huge amount of liquidity in the market at the moment, looking to find a home,” says Matt. “Even private equity houses, which have traditionally focused on acquisitions and equity investments, are establishing credit funds to deploy excess capital into other asset classes on behalf of investors.”

“Money goes where it’s treated best, and money is getting a lot of love in private real estate debt these days,” notes Nick. He’s seeing investors funding single deals through platforms like AltX, or through funds. SMSFs and super funds are turning more and more to this asset class. Listed vehicles are also raising debt capital on the ASX.

“This will only lead to further growth and market participation,” he says.

A recent survey of AltX investors indicated that 56% intend to increase their allocation to this asset class over the next 12 months.

“Investors we speak to want to feel comfortable if they end up owning the asset,” says Nick. “And real estate is very easy to understand and clarify risk around. People tend to be a lot more patient with this asset class because there is a certain outcome.”

Matt agrees the structural protection of real estate debt is a plus for investors. “There’s a lot of familiarity with the underlying asset class, and whether it’s residential or commercial real estate investors have a better understanding of the mortgage security.”

Nick says institutional interest in private debt is an indication this asset class is at a tipping point.

“It’s like any cycle: first to engage are the early adopters, then investors with bigger cheques who want to wait and see, and eventually the institutional money arrives when it’s fully proven. We’re now fast approaching the third wave.”

About AltX

AltX (www.altx.com.au) is a market-leading alternative investment platform. Founded in 2012 and headquartered in Sydney, AltX provides bespoke access to alternative income-generating products which have traditionally been inaccessible to individual investors.  AltX has funded in excess of $2bn of transactions since inception with zero loss of investor capital.

This article was sourced from a media release sent by Medianet

Photo by RODNAE Productions from Pexels

4 Home-Based Business Ideas That’ll Let You Work From Home

By: 

With the rise of home-based business opportunities as a result of the pandemic, more and more people are discovering ways to become entrepreneurs with their businesses based at home. Generally, if you’re resourceful enough, you can easily start working on your business ideas from home using your existing space and means. People create many types of businesses to operate from home and we’ll cover some of the most popular ideas here:

Virtual / In-Person Teacher

  • Music teacher: teach an instrument such as guitar, violin, or piano. Plan to offer your services on different teaching platforms and offer private lessons as well as group lessons.
  • Dance teacher: teach modern dance, ballet, or ballroom dancing. Offer different types of schedules for kids and adults. It is important you have all the proper equipment so your online lessons look highly professional.
  • Art teacher: teach drawing and illustration, painting, or sculpture. Define which are technique you are best at and create a schedule of all the different hours available you have.
  • Language instructor: teach Spanish, Chinese, Latin, or French. Be sure you completely dominate the language you are planning to teach.
  • Tutor: Tutor either elementary or high school students in subjects that you are degreed in, such as math, English, or chemistry.
  • Yoga instructor: teach virtual yoga and meditation techniques.
  • Blogging: Whether you decide to become a blogger and create new and rich content there are many ways to make money blogging. Creating your own blog can be a different and fun activity where you will be able to experiment with your creativity.
  • Freelancing photography: Consider the type of photography you want to do and what are the most popular requirements needed from your potential clients.

E-commerce Seller

You can operate an e-commerce company from your home. You can purchase products in bulk and sell them online. You’ll partner with a warehouse where your products will be shipped from. You can also perform all services related to e-commerce and expand as you need to. When choosing products, consider how much space you’ll need to accommodate this type of operation.

Homemade Products

Many home-based business owners sell products that they create, such as:

  • Candles: A candle company may be the best business for anyone passionate about wicks, soy blends, and achieving the perfect scent. You can offer soy candles, scented candles, beeswax candles, paraffin candles, and more.
  • Baked goods: Bakeries have been around for a long time, but recently they have grown in popularity. Entrepreneurs have taken their cakes, cupcakes, and cookies from home and open regular bakeries and restaurants, and even franchises that make. Creating cupcakes, artisan bread,  cookies, wedding cakes, and more could be a great way to start.
  • Jewelry: Making people’s personalities come alive through jewelry is a very fulfilling creative pursuit. Think about creating beaded bracelets, necklaces, earrings, rings. etc.
  • Essential oils offer many opportunities for creativity and reward. Own a business or buy wholesale oils to resell on your own.
  • A lot of people know how to knit, but it’s generally considered a new fad or lost art. It’s not clear to them how to make money with it. You can start by creating hats, scarves, mittens, or sweaters.

Services

You may base your business on providing services to customers either in person or online depending on the services you offer, which might include:

  • Makeup tutorials: Teaching how to properly use makeup and providing some confidence tips might be a loving activity, not only for you but also for your potential clients. Even showing how to apply lashes properly would be a great way to get started.
  • Dog walking: Taking care of furry babies and just having a long walk outdoors could definitely bring you great benefits.
  • Personal trainer: While training for your own personal goals, you are also helping others to achieve theirs.
  • Virtual assistant: if organizing and scheduling your day is a passion of yours, you should definitely offer these services to people that don’t have that same passion or patience as you do.
  • Clients of personal shoppers usually buy clothing and accessories for themselves. A personal shopper may work directly for a client or their stylist; other personal shopper employment is available through boutiques and departments stores.
  • Housecleaner: This is a great opportunity if you are passionate about cleaning and decluttering. These services have a high demand.

A curious fact, Recently India has become the hotspot for foreigners for starting an Indian Subsidiary and Ebizfiling is a one-stop solution for a Company Registration in India by a foreigner. Know the benefits of starting a business in India.

Home Office Essentials

When developing your business, you’ll want to create a home office where you can ‘set up shop’ and manage all the important aspects of operating your business. Here are some home office essentials to consider:

Good Lighting

Be sure that you have good lighting so that you can work without straining your eyes. You may want to have better overhead lighting installed by an electrician. Or, you can add more lamps to the space to ensure that you have great lighting even on dark and dreary days.

Adjustable Desk

An adjustable desk is ideal for a home office. You can use your desk for various tasks that may be related to your business.  A standup desk is also a great feature if you’re concerned about fitness. You’ll burn more calories by standing up to work.

Comfortable Furniture

Try to invest in a quality ergonomic office chair. You’ll be spending a lot of time in your home office, so be sure to have comfortable and supportive furnishings for yourself and anyone else who may be working with you. You may also need filing cabinets, a workbench, or other furnishings related to the type of work you perform.

Decor

Office decor may not seem essential, but it can enhance your mood each day. Remember, your office is your place of work. Decorate it in a way that inspires and motivates you to be productive. Although you don’t want to add much in the way of clutter, some thoughtful decorative pieces will add personal warmth to your office.

Plants

House plants can make your home office feel cozy and welcoming. However, that’s not all. Many houseplants feature air-purifying properties. Add plants to your office space like aloe vera or spider plants to keep the air smelling clean and fresh. Consider plants of various sizes to add a dynamic look to the space.

Equipment

You’ll likely need basic office equipment and may require other equipment or gear related to your products or services. For instance, if you perform sewing services, you will need a high-quality sewing machine. Typically, you’ll need office equipment such as:

  • Computer or laptop
  • Internet (consider business internet service) pocket wifi could also be a great option.
  • Business Phone
  • Printer
  • Copy machine
  • Headphones
  • Adding machine/calculator
  • Postage scale

These are just a few ideas. You’ll need to brainstorm to ensure you have all the equipment you need for your operation.

Quiet Space

When laying out your office, be sure to choose a space with an adequate room as well as an area where you can work without interruption. If you live in a bustling household, you’ll need a place where you can work without distractions. A quiet space away from children or the television room would be ideal.

Office Bar

Although you can always visit your kitchen, you might want to create an office bar where you have a coffee maker, healthy snacks, and even a small refrigerator to keep water or other beverages cold. This way, you can keep your work items separate from the household’s supplies.

Use these tips to create your home business. Be sure to give yourself adequate time to address each aspect of your business’s development. Once your business is up and rolling, you’ll also want to consult with an accountant to ensure that you understand your tax obligations.

Source: Porch

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

5 Proven Ways to Recover From Stress and Being Overwhelmed

2021 has been a stressful year across the board. Even if you think you’re good at dealing with stress, there have undoubtedly been times this year during which you’ve had to use every trick in your book. And if you’re not good at managing stress, there have undoubtedly been times in which you’ve been desperately seeking an outlet for those overwhelmed feelings.

You’re in luck because this article will furnish you with some useful tips and tricks to help you relieve some of your mental strain.

Nourish Your Spirit

If you’re feeling stressed, a good way of easing your troubles away is to connect with yourself. Spiritual pursuits, like meditation or prayer. Both of these practices can help to increase your sense of self-awareness, diminish feelings of anxiousness, and shift your focus off of your worries and onto something higher than those worries, like yourself, or your deity.

Exercise

This one may seem tricky if outside stress-compounding factors such as anxiety, depression, or physical limitations make the idea of exercise or activity seem daunting. But keeping active doesn’t have to mean high-intensity fitness training at the gym or even organized sport. Take the dog for a walk. Mow the lawn. Watch an exercise video online and move or stretch along. Certain scientific studies suggest that regular physical activity may have similar effects on mental health as antidepressants due to the encouraging production of endorphins, the brain’s neurotransmitters that help to mitigate stress.

Do Something You Like Doing

If you’re a writer, write. If you’re an artist, create something new. If you’re a musician, play. If you’re a sportsman, head outside. If you’d rather binge watch TV, there are a plethora of streaming services to choose from. Any constructive hobby is a worthwhile pursuit and can go a long way to giving you a sense of enjoyment and satisfaction.

Get a Pet

If your life circumstances allow, having a furry friend can help with stress relief, as certain studies have shown that taking care of a pet can help to lower the blood pressure that stress can raise, and decrease levels of cortisol, a hormone sometimes caused by stress, and even make a person feel less lonely.

Unplug from a Busy Life

Sometimes, you simply have to escape, and that’s okay. Work will be there when you come back, and so will the news. Spend time with friends or family – or time alone – uninterrupted by your day-to-day activities. Taking a break from an otherwise busy life may also include a social media hiatus. You might find that the more you disconnect from the pressures of everyday living, the more you connect with yourself.

A Final Word

Taking care of your mental health is important, and even more so in these unprecedented times in which we live. And now that you’ve seen some ways to help combat stress, hopefully, you’ll be able to fight against it even harder.

Home Loan Repayments 101: How To Make Home Loan Repayments As Easy As 1-2-3

A home loan is one major type of loan you will probably ever have in your entire life.  Having said that, managing a home loan would be a tedious task to accomplish every month; especially that you still have to deal with other equally important expenses.  However, there are certain things you need to be conscious or aware of in order to manage your loan home payments in an easy way.

Before applying for a home loan, you first need to formulate a strategy on your financial plan in order to successfully manage your home loan repayments.  In other words, you have to make it fit right into your monthly budget.  This way, you can make necessary adjustments ahead of time just in case some problems occur. 

Needless to say, home loans are quite a big deal; thus, it may take a big chunk out of your financial plan.  And, it is some sort of a necessary evil to deal with every month.  However, it is equally important to take note not to miss a single payment to avoid future complications and penalties.

Make your first repayment as soon as your home loan has been approved.  This will take off a big chunk of the amount from the principal even before the interest accumulates.  With this in mind, the amount of your repayment will be much lower than you have anticipated.

Coordinate with your financial institution that you prefer paying fortnightly instead of monthly.  This way, you will speed up the process of your repayments because you end up paying the equivalent of roughly 13 instead of 12.

If you have an extra monthly income that you earn from a bonus, then, it would be wise to make additional repayments.  Do this on a regular basis and you will end up reducing the cost and duration of your home loan.

Once your loan repayments will lower down due to a decrease in the interest rate; then, make sure you will not lessen your repayments.  This way you will be making a monthly extra repayment which will make you pay off your loan sooner and eventually save you money.  And, the best thing about this strategy is that you are not affecting your monthly budget because you are still deducting the same amount of money from your financial plan.

Another tip is to make arrangements with the financial institution to have your monthly income directly deducted by the amount of the home loan repayment.  This way, you will be assured that your financial obligation on your home loan will not be jeopardized.  Also, crediting companies would prefer this kind of payment system and would even give incentives—in the form of reimbursements or diminished interest rates—to their clients for timely repayment.  You can have the rest of your monthly expenses charged from your credit card with an interest-free period. 

By and large, if you are always alert with the financial movements of your monthly budget and linking them to your home loan and daily expenses; then, you will be assured of a successful and easy way of dealing with your home loan repayments.

Card Payments In Australia Are Expected To Rebound And Grow By 8.3% This Year

The Australian payment card market, which has been on the rise for the past few years, registered a slowdown in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic with reduced consumer and commercial spending. However, the market is expected to rise by 8.3% in 2021, forecasts GlobalData, a leading data, and analytics company.

According to GlobalData’s Payment Cards Analytics, the value of card payments registered subdued growth of 0.8% in 2020, much less compared to 5.8% in 2019. With improving economic conditions and vaccination programs gathering pace, the card payments market is set to rebound and reach A$749bn (US$577.3bn) in 2021.

The value of card payments is forecasted to grow further and register a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.6% between 2021 and 2025 to reach A$967.9bn (US$746.1bn) in 2025.

Sowmya Kulkarni, Senior Payments Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “Australia has a developed card payment market with a strong payment infrastructure and high consumer preference for electronic payments. Australians are prolific users of payment cards, with a high frequency of card payments at 185 times per card in 2020. While the card payments market was affected in the short-run due to the pandemic, it is expected to rebound and continue its growth trajectory from 2021.”

The growth in card payments will be supported by the rising usage of contactless cards and e-commerce payments. The use of contactless cards is on the rise as even smaller merchants are now insisting on non-cash and contactless payments amid hygiene concerns arising from COVID-19. To support this, the limit for contactless card payment was increased from A$100 (US$77.08) to A$200 (US$154.16), effective April 2020.

In addition to physical cards, payment via mobile wallets with stored debit and credit cards are also gaining prominence in Australia. According to the Commonwealth Bank, as of March 2021, over 40% of the bank’s debit and credit card contactless transactions were made via mobile wallets.

In addition, the drop in overall consumer spending during the pandemic has been offset by a rise in online spending, as wary consumers are staying home and using the online channel. Payment cards are the major beneficiaries of this as they are the most preferred tool for e-commerce payments in Australia.

Debit cards are the most preferred card type for payments, accounting for 58.5% of the overall card payments value in 2021 while credit and charge cards account for the remaining 41.5% share.

The share of credit and charge cards segment is on a constant decline over the past few years due to the changing consumer attitude towards credit card debt, and the growing prominence of alternate financing options such as buy now, pay later. The reduction in consumer spending amid the pandemic also adversely affected the segment with credit and charge card payment value declining by 10.7% in 2020.

Ms. Sowmya Concludes: “While the COVID-19 pandemic hampered the growth of payments market in the short-run in Australia, it is expected to grow at a robust pace over the next four years, supported by the gradual economic recovery, a rise in consumer and commercial spending and high contactless adoption.”

Photo by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels

FYI

  • Quotes are provided by Sowmya Kulkarni, Banking and Payments Senior Analyst at GlobalData
  • Information is based on GlobalData’s Payment Cards Analytics, which provides deep insight into the key trends in the global payment card market covering 73 key markets.
  • This press release was written using data and information sourced from proprietary databases, primary and secondary research, and in-house analysis conducted by GlobalData’s team of industry experts

About GlobalData

4,000 of the world’s largest companies, including over 70% of FTSE 100 and 60% of Fortune 100 companies, make more timely and better business decisions thanks to GlobalData’s unique data, expert analysis, and innovative solutions, all in one platform. GlobalData’s mission is to help our clients decode the future to be more successful and innovative across a range of industries, including the healthcare, consumer, retail, financial, technology, and professional services sectors.

Venture Capital Helps Early-Stage Startups Connect With Large Corporations

Big companies concerned about not being agile enough are moving closer to venture capital and finding partnerships with early-stage startups to help them solve corporate problems.

Stoic Venture Capital Partner Geoff Waring said venture capital’s role in aligning large companies with startups could contribute significantly to a post-COVID-19 economic recovery.

“Corporate executives find it hard to deal with accelerators, hackathons, and internal research and development departments. Partnering with startups is proving to be the most feasible way to solve corporate problems,” Dr. Waring said.

“Companies are often focused on satisfying the immediate needs of customers. Partnering with startups allows companies to investigate and accelerate innovative offerings that anticipate their customers’ future needs.”

The benefits for early-stage startups are manifold. It enables these growing companies, which otherwise do not have access to facilities or a sufficient customer base, to test their prototype with customers.

“These collaborative arrangements are a good way to test the feasibility of their model to solve specific company problems in a cost-effective and controlled environment,” he said.

“Where successful these arrangements can lead to commercial engagement down the track

“Large corporations worry a startup will fail, not be focused nor have shared goals,” Dr. Waring said. “Venture capital firms (whether independent or a corporate venture arm) can play a vital part alleviating their concerns by bringing legitimacy and finance to their start-ups, keeping them on track with milestones and introducing them to corporations with similar goals.”

The niche of venture capital is managing the phase between an unproven startup concept to where it is a company a large corporate customer will partner with then eventually acquire, Dr. Waring said.

“Company employees have little incentive to take on risk lest they are responsible for a project failure. Partnerships with startups enable them to outsource risk management but internalise innovation while avoid facing a new disruptive competitor in the market.”

Healthcare and pharmaceutical corporations are among the organisations most successfully using this method of startup partnering to internalise innovation.

Digital health platform Cardihab recently partnered with the Tasmanian Department of Health and Royal Flying Doctor Service Tasmania to provide digital cardiac rehabilitation services in public hospitals across the state.

This enabled Cardihab to demonstrate how its solution improved access to critical cardiac rehabilitation programs for patients recovering from cardiac events and living with heart disease in regional and remote areas.

It followed Cardihab’s agreement with Medibank to enable more people to access cardiac rehab during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In other rapidly transforming industries such as agritech, companies like Agerris have partnered with farms to demonstrate how their field robotics, artificial intelligence, and intelligent systems can dramatically improve on-farm operations.

About Stoic Venture Capital

Stoic Venture Capital provides financing for early-stage companies, particularly those arising from university research. Stoic is unconditionally registered as an Early-Stage Venture Capital Limited Partnership (ESVCLP) and takes a collaborative approach to investing in the highest potential companies. Atlas Advisors Australia AFOF is the major limited partner for the Fund. www.stoicvc.com.au

Stoic Venture Capital’s investments include:

• Cardihab (Digital cardiac rehab);
• Ena Therapeutics (Enhancing immunity to fight respiratory diseases);
• Certa Therapeutics (Drug for treating kidney disease);
• Wildlife Drones (Drones tracking animals);
• Agerris (Agricultural robots);
• Kinoxis (Addiction rehabilitation);
• Occurx (Drug to treat eye damage from diabetes);
• Que Oncology (Breast cancer side effects treatment);
• Ferronova (Magnetic nanoparticles for cancer diagnosis);
• Q-Sera (Blood collection);
• PERKii (Probiotic drink);
• Occurx (Eye damage from diabetes)

Source: Medianet

Despite COVID-19 Global Sneakers Market Still To Hit $102.8B Value By 2025… Yes, You Read Right

The COVID-19 has had a huge impact on the sneakers market, causing supply chain disruptions, closing retail stores, and cutting down revenues. Although all major sports brands managed to recover and boost their sales online, this year’s revenues are still expected to remain below pre-COVID-19 levels.

According to data presented by BuyShares.co.uk, the revenues of the global sneakers market are set to reach $66.3bn in 2021, compared to $69.6bn in 2019. However, the entire industry is forecast to grow by 30% in the next four years and hit $102.8bn value by 2025.

A Two-Year Recovery after the COVID-19 Hit

Sports brands and sneakers producers have never had a year like 2020. Before the COVID-19, global sneakers sales had been growing steadily, with revenues doubling between 2012 and 2019. However, in the first half of 2020, sales crushed to the deepest levels in years, as global demand significantly dropped amid the lockdowns. Sneakers were selling at lower prices, while marketplaces looked to drive customer engagement on social media.

As a result, global sneaker sales revenues dropped by almost 10% YoY to $63.2bn in 2020, revealed the Statista data.

After a challenging 2020, the sporting goods giants Nike, Adidas, and Puma all managed to recover, with their sales growing strongly in the first half of 2021. The return of major sports events also allowed them to showcase their brands to billions of consumers, who turned back to their stores in all parts of the world.

In the fiscal year ended May 2021, Nike reported $44.5bn in revenue, a 19% increase YoY, driven by growth across NIKE Direct and wholesale and double-digit growth in the footwear and apparel sector.

Its largest competitor, Adidas, also saw significant growth in all market segments, with sales in China jumping 156% in the three months of 2021. As a result, the revenues of the German sportswear company jumped by 27% YoY to €5.27bn in Q1 2021, with its net income reaching €502 million, up from €26 million in Q1 2020.

Although all major sneakers producers witnessed significant growth across different market segments in 2021, the revenues of the unified market are still forecast to remain $3.2bn below pre-COVID-19 levels.

However, the year 2022 is set to witness a significant recovery, with revenues rising by nearly 25% YoY to $82.4bn on a global level. Moreover, the increasing trend is set to continue in the following years, with the figure rising by $20bn by 2025.

The United States to Generate 30% of Total Revenues, Chinese Market to Shrunk by 10% in 2021

Analyzed by geography, the United States represents the world’s largest sneakers market expected to generate $20.1bn or 30% of total revenues in 2021. Statistics show the US market is forecast to grow by 6% YoY and reach almost pre-pandemic levels. By 2025, the US sneakers sales revenues are set to jump to $28.9bn.

However, as the second-largest sneakers market globally, China is expected to witness its revenues drop by 9.3% YoY to $12.4bn in 2021. In the next four years, this figure is set to jump to $23.2bn.

The United Kingdom is expected to witness the most significant growth among the top three markets, with revenues growing by 12.4% to $3.7bn this year. Japan and Germany follow with $3bn and $2.5bn in revenue, respectively.

The full story can be read here

5 Ways New Entrepreneurs Can Future-Proof Their Businesses

It’s no secret that many businesses took a massive hit during the COVID-19 pandemic, but while some were struggling, entrepreneurs were thriving. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 4.3 million new businesses were launched in 2020 alone — over 1 million more than the previous year — meaning that more people are launching new businesses than ever before.

While this is great news for the entrepreneurship community at large, that doesn’t mean these newly-launched businesses are in the clear. In fact, some estimate that as many as 50% of these businesses will fail within the first year without additional support. 

So what can new founders do to ensure their success? It’s easier than you might think.

  1. Establish yourself as a thought leader.

As business owners, there are few things more important than your credibility and reputation. As such, establishing yourself as a thought leader in your industry is vital — not only will this ensure that potential customers want to work with you, it can also lead to other business-boosting benefits like media inquiries, partnership offers, and more. 

You might be tempted to brush off thought leadership as a secondary priority, especially when you’re focused on getting your business off the ground. However, demonstrating that you’re a leader in your field is a fantastic way to build a safety net that can help your business stay afloat and even thrive. Building your personal brand and platform can help you create a strong foundation from which your business can grow, and it will help bring people to you instead of the opposite. 

  1. Don’t be afraid to pivot. 

Change is scary, especially when you’ve already stepped out of your comfort zone by launching a new business. As we’ve learned during the pandemic, however, the ability to adapt is key to many businesses’ survival. While there is definitely strength in persistence despite the odds, it’s also critical for entrepreneurs to understand when and how to pivot.

Don’t view it as giving up on your business or your ideas but rather as exploring new avenues of possibility. Studies show that businesses that are willing to adapt or change during times of crisis are more likely to be successful, which means your ability to think quickly and respond accordingly might be the difference between a business that succeeds and one that fails.

  1. Focus on financial literacy.

Money is the #1 cause of stress in America, and the same is true for entrepreneurs. While this stress can wreak havoc on our overall health and wellness — including contributing to anxiety, depression, high blood pressure, heart disease, and more — it’s often far worse for entrepreneurs, who are more prone to mental health issues due to immense stress.

While you can certainly introduce stress-relieving tactics into your regular routine to help you cope — whether that’s exercise, mindfulness, meditation, or something different — it’s important to address the sources of that stress as well. And one of the best ways to worry less about money? Learn more about it.

Look for ways to level up your financial literacy as both an individual and an entrepreneur, and make sure to find ways to give yourself the financial education that many business owners aren’t able to receive in traditional schooling. There are plenty of resources available online for entrepreneurs who want to learn more about money, and the more you know the more confident you’ll be in handling your money and taking financial risks. 

  1. Explore alternate methods of funding.

While there’s nothing wrong with bootstrapping your business, lack of funding is one of the biggest reasons why new businesses fail. And while a small business loan from a traditional bank is an option for some, it might not be the best path for you, especially if you’re a first-time entrepreneur. 

Don’t be afraid to think outside of the box when it comes to funding your business. Crowdsourcing is a great option for anyone who is able to provide a physical product or service, and you might be able to raise money through crowdsourcing on Kickstarter or Indiegogo. Not sure if crowdsourcing is right for you? There are plenty of angel investors out there who are looking for new investment opportunities, and there’s no reason not to reach out to them. There are also new alternative forms of investors that are available on platforms like ClearCo that can help businesses scale without sacrificing a large ownership stake in their company. If your product is in the e-commerce or SaaS space, this might be the type of funding you need to get your business off the ground. 

  1. Get a mentor.

Mentorship might not be on your “top priorities” list as an entrepreneur, but it definitely should be. According to one survey, 70% of small businesses that received mentoring survived more than five years, which is double the survival rate of non-mentored businesses. Plus, business leaders who are mentored by a top performer are three times more likely to become top performers in their industry as well, meaning mentorship might very well be the thing that helps your business not only survive but thrive. 

Charlotte DeMocker is co-founder and Chief Operating Officer at Penny, an innovative digital media startup that successfully launched during the pandemic. Penny seeks to help ordinary people master their money. Follow Charlotte on Instagram @charlottedemocker and learn more about Penny @penny.app.

7 Self-Improvement Goals That Will Make You Happier And More Motivated

Always remember that as long as you are alive, there’s always time to change your ways and succeed in life. You alone have the power and the opportunity to do what you want and be the person you want to become. If you want to improve yourself and achieve your goals, you should follow these self-improvement tips.

• First and foremost, you need to accept the fact that you need to be able to take full responsibility for your self-improvement. You need to know your true self, the things you’re interested in, and how you’re going to actively pursue them. If you don’t have any idea where you are heading, then you’ll probably just end up where other people want you to go.

• You need to set realistic goals and stick to these objectives as well as find ways to achieve them. Such a thing, however, is not enough.

• Learning continuously is also important. There are skills and techniques that you can adapt to improve your life. Never stop learning. Many people know how important this tip is. You need to continue learning in order to succeed.

• Look for effective ways to learn new things and improve your skills. Realizing the power of learning can encourage many people to become better in various ways and achieve what they really want. Keep in mind that if you learn new things enthusiastically, you’ll achieve self-growth and succeed in living a more content life. You will become happier and live the kind of life you have always wanted.

• You also need to change your bad habits. There are many times when a person’s life is dominated by bad practices. If you really want to become a better person, you need to change these habits and stick to the positive changes you’ve made.

• Being persistent is also important. Some people give up too easily. Always remember that your perseverance will serve as the driving force that will encourage you to do things you think you cannot do.

• When you focus on a goal, it is important to keep your mind on it. Don’t let yourself get distracted by other goals. Many people cannot focus on anything related to work for a long period of time. It is difficult to do especially since our culture is full of reasons and distractions that force us not to bother a lot with attaining real success.

There are plenty of excuses you can say that can stop us from doing anything productive. If you want to improve yourself and achieve your goals, you need to prioritize every action. Even when you’re not seeing any major progress yet, you should still keep going towards the completion of your goal.

As long as you keep at it – you’ll reap the rewards in the end. There are self-improvement books that provide life-changing ideas and advice that you can integrate into your life. Discover and learn things that can benefit your pursuit of self-improvement. Always remember that learning new things can do you a great favour. Continuous education will certainly help you succeed.

5 Things to Do When You’re Feeling Totally Stressed And Overwhelmed

2021 has been a stressful year across the board. Even if you think you’re good at dealing with stress, there have undoubtedly been times this year during which you’ve had to use every trick in your book. And if you’re not good at managing stress, there have undoubtedly been times in which you’ve been desperately seeking an outlet for those overwhelmed feelings.

You’re in luck, because this article will furnish you with some useful tips and tricks to help you relieve some of your mental strain.

Nourish Your Spirit

If you’re feeling stressed, a good way of easing your troubles away is to connect with yourself. Spiritual pursuits, like meditation or prayer. Both of these practices can help to increase your sense of self-awareness, diminish feelings of anxiousness, and shift your focus off of your worries and onto something higher than those worries, like yourself, or your deity.

Exercise

This one may seem tricky if outside stress-compounding factors such as anxiety, depression, or physical limitations make the idea of exercise or activity seem daunting. But keeping active doesn’t have to mean high-intensity fitness training at the gym, or even organized sport. Take the dog for a walk. Mow the lawn. Watch an exercise video online and move or stretch along. Certain scientific studies suggest that regular physical activity may have similar effects on mental health as antidepressants due to the encouraged production of endorphins, the brain’s neurotransmitters that help to mitigate stress.

Do Something You Like Doing

If you’re a writer, write. If you’re an artist, create something new. If you’re a musician, play. If you’re a sportsman, head outside. If you’d rather binge watch TV, there’s a plethora of streaming services to choose from. Any constructive hobby is a worthwhile pursuit and can go a long way to giving you a sense of enjoyment and satisfaction.

Get a Pet

If your life circumstances allow, having a furry friend can help with stress relief, as certain studies have shown that taking care of a pet can help to lower the blood pressure that stress can raise, and decrease levels of cortisol, a hormone sometimes caused by stress, and even make a person feel less lonely.

Unplug from a Busy Life

Sometimes, you simply have to escape, and that’s okay. Work will be there when you come back, and so will the news. Spend time with friends or family – or time alone – uninterrupted by your day-to-day activities. Taking a break from an otherwise busy life may also include a social media hiatus. You might find that the more you disconnect from the pressures of everyday living, the more you connect with yourself.

A Final Word

Taking care of your mental health is important, and even more so in these unprecedented times in which we live. And now that you’ve seen some ways to help combat stress, hopefully, you’ll be able to fight against it even harder.