GoDaddy’s Venture Forward Initiative Partners with UCLA Anderson Forecast to Study Online Microbusinesses and Local Economies

UCLA Anderson Forecast develops first of its kind index of microbusiness activity and issues report examining how microbusinesses fared during the pandemic based on GoDaddy’s Venture Forward data

GoDaddy Inc. , the company that empowers everyday entrepreneurs, and UCLA Anderson Forecast announced the latest results from their partnership utilizing GoDaddy’s Venture Forward data to show the impact online microbusinesses have on local economies and labor markets.

UCLA Anderson Forecast economists Leila Bengali and William Yu created a pioneering index studying the monthly activity of online microbusinesses down to county level, and released a detailed report examining how these microbusinesses fared during the pandemic, where they are distributed across the U.S., and what local factors contribute to their formation and growth.

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The index and report were based on data provided by GoDaddy’s Venture Forward initiative, a multiyear research effort to quantify the impact on local economies of the 20 million U.S. online microbusinesses its customers have created. A microbusiness is defined as a discrete domain name with an active website (e.g., online store), with the vast majority having 10 employees or less.

“GoDaddy Venture Forward’s collaboration with UCLA Anderson Forecast helps shed light on what can be often overlooked drivers of the economy,” said Jeremy Hartman, Vice President, Venture Forward at GoDaddy. “The UCLA Anderson Forecast’s research offers policymakers a level of visibility into the millions of microbusinesses in their communities that has previously never been possible. Our hope is this index, and the insights it offers, helps inform how policymakers can create stronger and more resilient economies.”

The UCLA Anderson online microbusiness index is the first of its kind and uniquely shows the characteristics of microbusinesses and their activity at the national, state, metro, and county levels.

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“The UCLA Anderson Forecast was able to use GoDaddy’s Venture Forward data to effectively measure online microbusiness activity and show how microbusinesses are a unique type of business with unique considerations,” said Bengali. “Activity that fosters entrepreneurship is in the best interest of local communities and their economies. We hope this tool can be helpful for local leaders and other researchers.”

Bengali and Yu started working with Venture Forward data in 2019 when they found evidence of a causal impact between the number of microbusinesses in a community, and the number of jobs created and employment opportunities. They also found a correlation between the availability of affordable broadband and the number of microbusinesses in a community.