The last two years have seen countless businesses closed and jobs lost due to the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, despite these economic losses, a new study by Adobe Acrobat reports a distinct rise in digital entrepreneurship since 2019. Here are a few key takeaways from the Adobe study on entrepreneurship during the pandemic.
The pandemic forced many businesses to close permanently as workforces declined and consumers opted for online shopping to stay home. However, according to the digital entrepreneurship study by Adobe Acrobat, “The US Census Bureau reported an 8% increase in 2020 for new business applications, the largest year-over-year spike.” This abrupt increase in new businesses can be partially attributed to the new gaps in the market created by the pandemic. The demand for digital business solutions and online shopping options spurred a wave of opportunity for entrepreneurs to launch their startups addressing these issues. Specific markets boomed, such as the SaaS and delivery service industries, while others saw digital transformations that took business online. Economic stimulus made it possible for entrepreneurs to more easily secure funding for their startups, leading to a boom in new business as the needs of the pandemic became clear.
The demand for digital business solutions generated a wave of SaaS and other services that have made it easier to start a business from home. You don’t have to be a web developer to build an attractive and functioning website; now, there are tools like Adobe Acrobat that can help you run a successful startup from home. Apps for small businesses can be efficiently run from tablets or smartphones, making management easy and convenient for entrepreneurs and small business owners. Remote business tools like conferencing platforms, document management systems and automation software have streamlined workflows and have helped new online businesses become efficient. Digital accessibility is a huge factor contributing to the rise of digital entrepreneurs during the pandemic. As tech and business software become more and more user-friendly, small businesses can be effortlessly run by anyone from anywhere in the world.
As more shoppers turned to online options, entrepreneurs were given a unique opportunity to reach more consumers through their mobile phones. According to the study by Adobe Acrobat, “In 2022, mobile e-commerce sales alone were estimated beyond $432 billion. This is up from $148 in 2018.” Mobile users are easily reached through social media platforms and other entertainment apps. Digital marketing has become super competitive as marketers turn to increasingly creative strategies such as influencer marketing to reach consumers through social media. This direct access to consumers has led many digital entrepreneurs to find success in their creative campaigns. Because social media is free and extremely popular, entrepreneurs who can create engaging content could quickly become viral and see a massive boost in following and customer base.
As the pandemic sent people home, many looked for remote work options to keep themselves safe. Businesses that could adapt to digital workplaces did so quickly to retain their workforce and resume day-to-day business. Collaboration tools such as video conferencing software became necessary for large remote teams to stay connected and work efficiently. Entrepreneurs could also use these tools to build teams of remote workers, co-owners, and business creators to launch their own companies. The changing culture of work has allowed many to improve their work-life balance and change their lifestyle to fit their needs. Digital nomads are a growing group of remote workers who regularly travel while maintaining remote employment. Our altering attitudes about work and how business can be done have presented entrepreneurs and regular employees with new and convenient options for their careers.
The pandemic marked the rise of the digital entrepreneur as markets opened up, consumers became more accessible, and business became more manageable through the digital world. New businesses will continue to meet the needs of a pandemic society as more and more companies are launched online.