The Fastest Growing Industries of 2020

Two renewable energy engineers surveying a power grid

When it comes to launching a new business or investing in an existing one, it seems that each year, there is a shift in what is deemed new and exciting.

New niche industries begin to develop, and businesses that were emerging now start to excel at a swift pace. With the year 2019 soon coming to a close, it's essential for both investors and entrepreneurs alike, to consider what the fastest growing industries of 2020 will be. Indeed, understanding which areas will be experiencing an upward trend is an excellent form of risk management for your business.

Therefore, to help you narrow down what to expect in the New Year, we've listed four examples to ponder. Here are some of the fastest-growing sectors in the world right now.

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

As we move toward a more automated future in 2020, it's no surprise that growth technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT) and artificial intelligence (AI) are disrupting the mainstream. Indeed, AI development is a crucial growth tool for many organisations, providing the ability to streamline and optimise many of their services and products. Without a doubt, AI is changing the way that business will be conducted in the near future.

Because of this, companies with a strong tie to the tech sector have the opportunity to capitalise on this industry; they can invest their time and resources into creating an AI system that other industries will be desperate to adopt in-house. The potential uses of these technologies are numerous, too; for instance, individuals needing a more efficient method of juggling multiple businesses, by removing the possibility of human error.

If you are a tech startup, then by making available an AI programme that can be adopted and implemented quickly, you could be very much riding the crest of a highly lucrative wave.

CBD-based Products

Although currently only Canada, Uruguay, Switzerland, and several states within the United States have legalised the use of cannabis, nations such as Luxembourg, Mexico, and New Zealand are believed to be just three of many potential countries moving toward this same shift. Nonetheless, the use of CBD-based products (the non-psychoactive component in marijuana) is on the rise in areas where THC (the cannabinoids that creates a 'high') are not yet legal.

Indeed, these products are increasingly being used for the treatment of medical symptoms, such as chronic pain, seizures, Alzheimer's disease, glaucoma, multiple sclerosis, and muscle spasms, with increasing levels of research taking place into their medicinal properties. In line with this newfound credibility in the clinical community, two leading cannabis researchers, BDS Analytics and Arcview Market Research, estimate that the market for CBD sales in the US alone will surpass $20bn by the year 2024. Considering the potential for this market on a global scale, the prospective earnings for startups in this fast-growing sector are almost unimaginable. BDS Analytics estimates explicitly that, internationally, the legal cannabis market has grown by 36% in 2019 and that this trend will continue throughout 2020.

Of course, before you begin selling products in this niche, you need to have a full understanding of the relevant legislation in your location. In the UK, for example, selling CBD-based products is not illegal, but there is a vast grey area surrounding what is and isn't permissible. Even then, in countries where the law is a lot clearer, such as Canada, you will still require a license to sell. Doing your research is vital before you begin trading.

Once you have the legal right to sell CDB-based products, however, then the business model is conducive to success. You can market and trade products online with minimal overheads, such as on a local social media buy-and-sell, or in the form of an online store with your own website and shipping options. Either way, looking forward to 2020, the prospects for CBD products are hugely positive, with a global market boom seemingly just around the corner. 

Internet Publishing and Broadcasting

The consumption of written or visual media, either published or broadcast online by individuals all over the world, is a huge industry. Large swathes of internet users spend hours each week perusing the web for both informative and entertaining content. Even those looking to build the skills needed to be an entrepreneur can be found investigating the topic online, researching information that will help them develop and expand their business. Why not take advantage of this ability to captivate such a broad virtual audience?

There are a plethora of avenues that you could explore, too, such as:

  • Blogging
  • Online magazines
  • eBooks (fictional or non-fictional)
  • Social media commentary
  • Influencing
  • Vlogging

All of these mediums enable you to reach broad audiences and can be monetised, through advertising and supplemental product sales. Before you dive headfirst into the world of content creation, though, ensure that you determine your niche and understand your audience, as well as identify the best marketing, SEO and technical practices. 

Solar Power

With the world becoming increasingly aware of the importance of taking care of the planet, there has been a desire to seek more eco-friendly options to incorporate into daily life. One of these examples is the adoption of renewable energy, particularly in the form of solar power.

This technology is attractive to people not only because it is a big step toward halting (and eventually reversing) the detrimental effects of greenhouse gases and certain air pollutants, but also because it can save them money in the future. Consequently, solar power is one of the fastest-growing industries in the world at the moment, and certainly one that entrepreneurs should be aware of in 2020.

According to the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions, "renewable energy is the fastest-growing energy source in the US, increasing by 67% from 2000 to 2016" alone. They have also projected that solar generation will be responsible for 36% of all global energy by the year 2050, making it an attractive - and socially responsible - enterprise for engineering startups.

If you opt to take on renewable energy and solar power as the focus of your business in 2020, it's advisable to market your company both online and as a bricks-and-mortar venture. These two factors are key methods to ensure that your services are more widely known and, as a result, individuals looking to make the switch to eco-friendlier alternatives to traditional energy consumption - particularly those of the so-called 'boomer' generation - can be made more aware.

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Whether you are an established company looking to diversify and take on additional niche markets, or an entrepreneur in the early stages of planning out your future business for 2020, these four fast-growing industries are all exciting sectors that you should be considering entering into.

Keep an eye on what is likely to grow quickly across the next decade, too. After all, you want to be sure that your business is sustainable in the long term and can contribute positively to society, particularly given the growing importance of social responsibility to consumers.

Which of these industries are you most excited about seeing expand in the coming year? Let us know in the comments below.