Unprecedented Research Project Gives Everyday Entrepreneurs a Voice in National Stimulus Conversations Related to COVID-19

GoDaddy Venture Forward Program

GoDaddy Inc. (NYSE: GDDY), the company that empowers everyday entrepreneurs, today introduced Venture Forward, a multi-year research project that demonstrates and quantifies the positive impact these entrepreneurs and their microbusinesses, have on their local communities, as well as how they strengthen the U.S. economy as a whole. As the economic fallout from COVID-19 continues, Venture Forward will shed light on how this group is recovering, and the effect they are having on their communities and economies. The Venture Forward research is available to download and to explore with data visualization tools at www.godaddy.com/ventureforward.

For the first time, this new dataset illuminates the outsized impact of a unique class of 20 million ventures across the country. Created by everyday entrepreneurs, in the past these ventures have been overlooked by policy makers and ignored in national debates that affect their health as the majority are too small or too new to show up in traditional methods of capturing economic data. GoDaddy is making Venture Forward available to the public so that anyone—elected officials, academics, think tanks—can utilize it and contribute to conversations on COVID-19 stimulus measures, as well as issues like financial inequality, immigration policy, and job skills-training.

“An extraordinary movement has emerged as everyday entrepreneurs are powering the economy in new and unexpected ways, and it’s critically important to better understand their impact,” said GoDaddy CEO Aman Bhutani. “Venture Forward helps bring into focus the benefits of building a more inclusive economy that enables people to pursue their passions. We know these entrepreneurs are being negatively impacted by COVID-19 and today, and in the months ahead, we’ll be with them every step of the way.”

Venture Forward Highlights

In partnership with social scientists at the University of Iowa and Arizona State University, GoDaddy spent a year counting, categorizing and analyzing the economic impact of 20 million “ventures.” A venture can be a business, service, non-profit, cause or idea, and is defined as a discrete domain name with an active website for the purposes of this project. This new dataset shows the impact on economic prosperity across the nation’s 900+ metropolitan and micropolitan areas, 3,100 counties and 30,000 zip codes.

To measure the economic impact, the research partners focused on the number of ventures per 100 people, or venture density, in a given county, city region, or zip code. Key findings:

  • Ventures make communities more prosperous. In 2017, the average annual increase in household median income across the nation’s counties was $1,700. Adding one highly active venture per 100 people would increase that number by 19% or $331, taking it up to $2,031.
  • Ventures are as diverse as the country itself. They’re in red states and blue states. Run by women and men, full-time business owners, students, retirees, and part-time workers. They’re rural and urban, from different income and education levels, and all ethnicities.
  • Ventures are prevalent in regions that recovered most fully from the great recession of 2008. Counties in the top 10% of recovery have more ventures per 100 people than the national average, and twice as many as those that recovered the least. They also experienced a greater increase in prosperity between 2007 and 2016.

Similar to the 2008 recession, ventures could play a significant role in how communities rebound following this period of economic turmoil caused by COVID-19. Together with a team of academic researchers and data scientists, GoDaddy will continue to update the data and release analysis in the coming months.

“This data clearly demonstrates the powerful connection that exists between access to technology, knowledge about how to use it, and the prosperity of communities when the right conditions are created to nurture today’s everyday entrepreneurs,” said Karen Mossberger, Professor, Arizona State University School of Public Affairs. “The Venture Forward program fills a critical gap in our understanding of how technology is being leveraged in new ways across the country – ways that have not traditionally been capable of being measured by anyone.”

Open Sourcing Venture Forward

Beyond making the Venture Forward raw data fully available, GoDaddy is working with local governments to help them achieve specific goals. For example, Gilbert, Arizona, a municipality in the Phoenix Metropolitan Area with a current venture density of 8.9 (well above the city national average of 3.2), is planning to use the data to help inform the creation of policies that can support this segment of the business community, encourage even more venture growth, and better engage with them to understand their long term growth needs.

GoDaddy is also partnering with researchers at the Brookings Institution, Harvard Business School, and the UCLA Anderson Forecast to continue to innovate on top of this initial Venture Forward dataset.

Please visit the Venture Forward website to learn more about the research.