A Multiyear Research Effort

Venture Forward quantifies the impact online microbusinesses have on their local economies

Our Methodology

In 2018, GoDaddy set out to analyze the economic impact of the 20+ million online microbusinesses our customers have created across the U.S. Our research team, working with economists and data scientists from the University of Iowa, Arizona State University, UCLA Anderson Forecast, looked at data from 30,000+ zip codes, 3,000+ counties and 900+ city regions.

We established microbusiness density by measuring the number of GoDaddy-registered domains with active websites in a geographic region. (About 75% are commercial ventures, with the rest a combination of nonprofit, cause-oriented, and other sites; all are included in the data set.) Data was further divided to indicate the microbusinesses within a region that are highly active.

When combined with data from the U.S. Census Bureau, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Economic Innovation Group, and others, this breakdown allowed us to model the effects of online microbusinesses on economic outcomes like regional prosperity scores, change in annual household median income, recovery from the Great Recession, and unemployment at the county, city-region, and zip-code levels. Our regression models controlled for additional variables including broadband access, education levels, age, demographics, population, and occupational data to ensure the effects of microbusinesses were isolated.

We regularly expand and update the Venture Forward data set and findings. So please check back for our latest research and insights.

For more information about our methodology, see FAQs below.

Venture Forward FAQs

Associated organizations

Arizona State University School of Public Affairs

A leading academic institution with unique strengths in science and technology policy, local government management, environmental policy, and urban policy.

Bureau of Labor Statistics

The U.S. government’s primary agency tracking labor and economic statistics.

Economic Innovation Group

A bipartisan public policy organization that combines innovative research and data-driven advocacy to address America’s most pressing economic challenges.

Milken Institute

An independent economic think tank focused on human, financial and social capital.

Opportunity Insights

A non-partisan, not-for-profit organization at Harvard University that translates insights from rigorous, scientific research to suggest actions for policy change.

UCLA Anderson Forecast

Forecasts and projections about the current state and future outlook of economies in the U.S. and China.

University of Iowa Department of Political Science

A leader in research and policy impacting the state of Iowa, the U.S. government, the governments of myriad foreign countries, and the international system.

U.S. Census Bureau

Part of the U.S. Department of Commerce, responsible for producing data about the American people and economy.

Contact Us

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