November 14, 2023

The ‘Digital Safety Net’ Is Real: Independent Research Shows Small Businesses Using More Digital Tools Have Higher Growth

By Data Catalyst Institute

Washington, DC (November 14, 2023): A special issue of Entrepreneurship and Regional Development was recently published which DCI Editor in Chief, Mark Drapeau, along with Professor David B. Audretsch (Indiana University) and Maksim Belitski (Loyola University), co-edited. As part of the special issue, Drapeau, Audretsch, Belitski, and others co-authored  “Resilience and digitally-advanced entrepreneurship,” drawing from several of DCI’s past research publications related to digitally-driven small businesses and the “Digital Safety Net” (see here and here). 

In this issue, Drapeau, Audretsch, Belitski, and others explore digitalization as a transformative force in entrepreneurship, democratizing access to markets, resources, and tools, and enabling startups to reach global audiences and more competitively rival established businesses. “Digital transformation has been pivotal during the COVID-19 pandemic and enabled greater diversification, enhanced adaptability, improved access to global markets, and novel forms of knowledge collaboration, altogether increasing firms’ ability to survive and grow. Understanding the mechanisms and implications of the relationship between digital technologies and entrepreneurial resilience is essential for policymakers, researchers, and practitioners to develop rapid policy responses,” they write.

In related news, Professors Audretsch and Belitski published a new article titled, “Digitalization, Resource Mobilization and Firm Growth in Emerging Industries,” in the British Journal of Management, citing independent evidence from a 10-year UK small business dataset, validating DCI’s aforementioned research related to the “Digital Safety Net,” in which SMBs using more digital tools are better able to be resilient during tough times (like the COVID-19 pandemic). This new, independent research shows that digital tools help small businesses grow during non-pandemic/normal times in addition to acting as a safety net during bad times. 

Drapeau, Audretsch, and Belitski sat down to discuss both of the articles’ findings in a special BJM video abstract published here. You can also watch it below. 

Inquiries: media at datacatalyst dot org or contact at datacatalyst dot org

More Insights

How a Digitally-Native Small Business Retailer Engages & Sells: Q&A with Michael Wieder, Co-Founder, President and CMO of Lalo

We discuss with Michael Wieder, Co-Founder & President of Lalo, how a digitally-native SMB sells, uses innovative tech, and the potential impact of tech legislation on such a business.

By Data Catalyst Institute

Corporate Backing Doesn’t Immunize Franchises to Small Business Challenges

Independently-owned franchises face many of the same challenges mom-and-pop shops do – managing finances, hiring & retaining talent, navigating inflation, and more.

By Liam Putz