The continued rise of the individual as a viable economic unit is being covered by several bloggers, starting with Paul Kedrosky and continuing with Tim O'Reily.
The trend in human societies has been toward increasing decentralization. We see this in terms of computers (70's = mainframes, 80's = PCs, 90's = Internet, 2000's = Wireless Internet), as well as in terms of business (70's = corporate HQ, 80's = independent business units, 90's = spin-off independent companies, 2000's = supply chain integration). The numbers show that the economic impact of this has become HUGE, at 70% of US businesses.
The difference now is that individuals can impact beyond just their local geographic area. No longer just being limited to the corner store, individuals can reach beyond their neighborhood or city, to play within the broader global market.