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Best Startup Markets for 2009 If you're looking to capitalize on the next big thing, it's all about knowing where to look and how to treat your customers. Here are 4 booming markets to keep an eye on this year.

By Karen E. Spaeder

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

When I first started my bamboo clothing company, Rain Frog Apparel, I knew it would allow me some entrepreneurial freedoms: flexible hours, the ability to apply philanthropic principles in a business setting and a new way to express my creative passions. What I didn't know about, or perhaps what I underestimated, was the massive wave of innovation, dedication, collaboration and pure genius that was sweeping through the green market--coming straight from entrepreneurs like me who were driven by their desire to make a socially responsible difference.

These green businesses are just one example of how entrepreneurs have identified a trend and then acted on it, not simply because they wanted to make money, but because they had a real passion to create something of their own within a burgeoning market.

That's why we've devoted some space in this issue to the hottest markets for 2009. One of them is the green market, but we've outlined three others that are worth consideration. So if one of these appeals to you, know that you're not alone--and that now is the time to act on your aspirations.

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