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The face of entrepreneurship has evolved over the years, and today, it's dramatically different. But what will the entrepreneur of the future look like?

By Joshua Kurlantzick

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Fifty years ago, the typical entrepreneur was relativelyhomogenous and static. He was usually a white man, sometimesworking together with his family, who owned a small Main Streetretail shop or a local manufacturing company. He knew most of hisclients, and his company focused on local goods and services.

Today, much has changed. America's entrepreneurs are muchmore diverse racially, gender-wise and age-wise, and an increasingnumber are starting service businesses rather than manufacturing orretail companies. Economists, sociologists and small-businessexperts say the key trends in American entrepreneurship-growingdiversity, an aging work force, a preference for starting companiesthat fit personal lifestyles, and a move into higher-value, globalindustries-are only likely to accelerate in the coming years. Adecade from now, they say, the entrepreneur of the future will bedrastically different from even today's business owners.

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