Venture Forward

Venture Forward is a multiyear research effort to quantify the impact online microbusinesses have on their local economies.

Online microbusinesses increase incomes and create jobs.

Household median income gains

$485

For each new active microbusiness/100 people

New jobs added

+2

By each everyday entrepreneur in a community

Everyday entrepreneurs are as diverse as this country

About half of these microbusinesses are solo efforts and the majority have fewer than 10 employees

Cities can boost their economies by helping microbusinesses

Local officials in Denison, Texas have used our data to craft policies that support entrepreneurs

How does your community stack up?

Average U.S. City

2.2

Microbusinesses per 100 people

Average U.S. County

3.1

Microbusinesses per 100 people

Microbusiness Density

0 to 2.9
3.0 to 4.9
5.0 to 7.9
8+

Online microbusinesses increase incomes and create jobs.

Household median income gains

$485

For each new active microbusiness/100 people

New jobs added

+2

By each everyday entrepreneur in a community

Everyday entrepreneurs are as diverse as this country

About half of these microbusinesses are solo efforts and the majority have fewer than 10 employees

Cities can boost their economies by helping microbusinesses

Local officials in Denison, Texas have used our data to craft policies that support entrepreneurs

How does your community stack up?

See how many microbusinesses your county has and how they impact your economy

Average U.S. City

2.2

Microbusinesses per 100 people

Average U.S. County

3.1

Microbusinesses per 100 people

Microbusiness Density

  • 0 to 2.9
  • 3.0 to 4.9
  • 5.0 to 7.9
  • 8+

Microbusinesses are all around us

They’re the people who build websites, run restaurants, and offer classes online. But their impact has largely gone unnoticed. Our mission is to change that. We use data to show policy makers how microbusinesses make communities more prosperous and resilient.

A restaurant supplier’s creative approach to thriving during the pandemic

A restaurant supplier’s creative approach to thriving during the pandemic

How a fish wholesaler moved online to reach a new market, selling high-quality seafood out of a truck

Building her website showed this artist and therapist she’d been an entrepreneur all along

Building her website showed this artist and therapist she’d been an entrepreneur all along

An online platform allowed Thea Monyeé to bring together the many aspects of her work and reach a broader audience

Profile of a Microbusiness

  • Less than 10 employees
    92%
  • Has presence both online and brick + mortar
    1 in 2
  • Provides main or supplemental income
    60%
  • Not in traditional workforce
    1 in 4
  • Identified purpose as commercial
    74%
From struggling single mother to successful entrepreneur

From struggling single mother to successful entrepreneur

How skills training and a microloan helped one woman thrive through the pandemic

A Miami tap dancer dreams of an entrepreneurial future

A Miami tap dancer dreams of an entrepreneurial future

With her online store, Natasha Williams aims to change the way women wear press-on nails

The pandemic's effect on microbusinesses

New data shows how shifting to e-commerce helped businesses and workers survive the economic fallout from COVID-19

Top 3 industries seeing positive traffic change (Feb-Sept 2020)

Industry % Traffic Change % Orders Change
Agriculture 94.9% -11.7%
Outdoors 55.4% 28.8%
Food and Drink 33.8% -3.8%
Seasonally adjusted from Feb-Sept 2020

Top Needs for Post-Pandemic Business Recovery

  • 63%
    Grants
  • 25%
    Small Business Services
  • 21%
    Access to Capital & Microlending

Download Venture Forward Research

Venture Forward opened our eyes to just how big of a venture market we have in Gilbert…That ultimately led to the funding of $18 million worth of business recovery funds.” Dan Henderson
Dan Henderson
Director of the Office of Economic Development, Gilbert, AZ