The Global Rise of the Digital Entrepreneur

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The COVID-19 pandemic saw global economic challenges and more people looking for remote employment options. However, a new study by Adobe Acrobat shows that despite these challenges, the pandemic marks a distinct increase in digital entrepreneurship never seen before. As the pandemic changed how we work and shop, the business world quickly and dramatically adapted to fill the new gaps in global markets. Here are some key takeaways from the Adobe Acrobat study on the rise of digital entrepreneurship.

Changing Work Culture

As people worldwide were forced to stay home, many quit or lost their jobs due to the pandemic. Many businesses were forced to seek digital work solutions to meet the demand of a remote workforce. The need for remote work positions remains high as Adobe Acrobat reports, “More than 3 in 4 adults would rather apply for jobs that offer remote work options.” Remote workers also report higher levels of productivity and an improved work-life balance. This new work culture has even influenced visa regulations in various countries as more ‘digital nomads’ look for opportunities to work remotely while living abroad. The opportunity to work from home can encourage a healthier work-life balance for many employees while improving a business’s overall productivity. Remote workers have more time to pursue their interests, which has led many to start their own businesses as digital entrepreneurs.

Digital Business Solutions

As the pandemic spread, businesses had to adapt to the needs of a remote workforce and digital consumers. The SaaS (Software as a Service) market boomed as digital business solutions were created to help companies go online. Online business and management courses became widely available as more and more entrepreneurs searched for ways to start their companies. Online stores and eCommerce websites are quickly built and managed with the help of user-friendly software and services. Apps for small businesses make it easy for entrepreneurs to run their companies through smartphones or laptops. The accessibility of these digital business tools and markets has allowed small business owners to pave a path to success even during the height of the pandemic.

Open Market Opportunities

Adobe looked at digital entrepreneurship as a result of the pandemic creating new market opportunities for online businesses. Roughly 98,000 businesses closed permanently between March and September 2020, creating gaps in various industry markets that digital entrepreneurs looked to fill. As the economy changed, so did financing options for SMBs and startups as more opportunities became available for funding new businesses. Some market opportunities were new such as the demand for SaaS, but others were met by adapting to digital business models and bringing business online. Digital entrepreneurs took advantage of these unique demands of the pandemic to create new online companies.

Direct Line to the Consumer

As our work habits changed, so did our shopping habits. According to the Adobe Acrobat study, “In 2022, mobile e-commerce sales alone are estimated to reach beyond $432 billion, up from $148 billion in 2018.” The eCommerce industry exploded with more online businesses than ever before and more consumers shopping through their mobile phones rather than in person. Not only has this opened tremendous market opportunities for digital entrepreneurs, but it has transformed the way digital marketers compete with each other and interact with customers. Social media and influencer marketing mean that companies and marketers have a direct line to consumers through their smartphones. These consumer trends are most likely to continue beyond 2022 as digital businesses grow.

The pandemic created unique market opportunities that allowed digital entrepreneurs worldwide to start their own companies, spurring a new wave of online business. The demand for online eCommerce options and remote work opportunities continues to grow, allowing for more and more business to take place digitally.

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