Belfast Telegraph

Web can help with your entrepreneurial ambitions

By Mark Nagurski

January is traditionally a time when we dabble in a little personal reflection and commit to making changes in the year to come - from going to the gym, to quitting smoking to slipping the reins of employment and starting our very own businesses.

The internet isn't much use with the first two, but when it comes to inspiration for aspiring entrepreneurs, your laptop screen might be the prefect place to start.

Here are five of our favourite websites to help get your entrepreneurial juices flowing:

  • - Springwise is the 'original' business ideas website. Launched as a weekly newsletter in 2002, the site delivers a daily review of some of the most interesting new business ideas and innovations from around the globe - many sent in by a network of over 8,000 amateur idea spotters in over 70 countries.

Springwise is particularly good for identifying niche, regional business ideas with the potential to be replicated or partnered with in other parts of the world. Its sister site, is also worth a look for a broader perspective on the consumer trends which are shaping both new and existing businesses.

  • - Like Springwise, Trendhunter relies on a growing network of (over 30,000) trendhunters. To date it has posted over 60,000 trends and micro-trends, making Trendhunter the world's largest trend website attracting some nine million monthly page views. Trendhunter is particularly useful for fashion, advertising and pop culture trends.
  • - PSFK is a New York City based trends research and innovation company with offices in London. It provides consultancy services to major brands, maintains a daily news site, runs events and lectures, and publishes a series of 'good ideas' guides. While there's a broad range of ideas on the site, PSFK strengths are new product design, technology and culture.
  • - For those looking for business ideas on a slightly smaller scale, UK-based Enterprise Nation is fast becoming the home of home-based business. Updated several times a day with advice on marketing, technology and home business lifestyle, it also runs regular interviews with unique home-based business owners and interesting freelance professionals. If your tastes tend more towards lifestyle business ideas, this is one to bookmark.
  • - TED is less a source of business ideas than a source of business, technological and cultural inspiration. Devoted to 'Ideas Worth Spreading' TED started out in 1984 as a conference bringing together people from three worlds: Technology, Entertainment and Design. The annual conference in California - and Global version held in Oxford - bring together the world's most fascinating thinkers and doers, to give the talk of their lives in 18 minutes. The TED website has taken videos of the best of these talks (over 450 to date) and made them freely available to everyone.

Of course there are plenty of other places to find inspiration for your next business venture - share your favourites in the comments below.