Reddit reviews Making a Living Without a Job, revised edition: Winning Ways for Creating Work That You Love
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Small business owner here -
There's a strong self-employment and small business culture here, and people are very geared toward supporting businesses that are part of their community. I spend a great deal of my time in community engagement - not because I feel I have to to grow my businesses, but because I genuinely enjoy it. There's a ton of these community engagement opportunities around for my type of business, but your results may vary depending on your field.
I seriously doubt that the guy who said "you can't build a business for $50,000" has ever built a business of his own. Be careful that you never listen to advice from people who are less successful than you (including me, if that's the case!) I own 2 successful, profitable businesses - both cost less that $1000 to start up, and neither ever required me to go into debt. If you do decide to be a "shoestring entrepreneur," you will still need the $50,000 to support your living expenses for at least the 6 months of full time or greater work it takes to get a business to the point where you are "ramen profitable."
I will often tell people that the first business and/or skill an entrepreneur should have is web site design and development. I don't mean being able to sign up for a free website on blogspot or tumblr, this will not cut it in my opinion. The most important web skills to learn are coding HTML/CSS, being able to manage your own server/domains, and knowing as much as possible about search engine optimization and keywords.
Since I try to walk what I talk, the first business in Victoria I started up was Fernwood Web Design, then I took over a pre-existing waste service business called Pedal to Petal. Either business could support me on its own, but I need the variety that these 2 businesses offer me. I operate a few other micro-businesses and passive revenue websites, but these 2 make up the bulk of how I support myself.
The best book I've read on starting your own shoestring businesses is Making a Living Without a Job by Barbara Winters, which I know is available at the central Victoria library ;) It's a book that fits well with my slightly ADD personality, so you may get more or less out of it than I did.
As far as business fields go, I think it's better to work in a field you're interested in with less perceived demand than a more in demand field that you know or care little about. I'm in the agriculture/composting field because that's what I like, even though it has a lower earning potential compared to other fields.. lawyers, for example.
If you want to discuss more, you can email me. You should be able to find my contact through one my sites I've linked to.