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How the Right Technology Empowers Entrepreneurial Dreams

For today’s small business owners, an entrepreneurial dream is just a dream without the right tools and resources to make it a reality. And now more than ever, in this prolonged pandemic that has fueled economic and social disparities, access to technology and the right technology tools are a critical part of that.

This year, the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO), in partnership with Gusto, the all-in-one HR platform company, produced a series of quarterly surveys to gather data from women business owners on their health and needs. The second survey in the series asked questions across three main themes: the re-opening and the “new normal” of the American economy, the economic challenges that remain and tools business owners need to grow, and public policies to support women-owned businesses. 

One thing that emerged from the survey responses is that the accelerated shift to technology in 2020 and beyond has highlighted the need for broadband. When survey participants were asked to identify technology tools that would help their businesses grow and expand, the top tool, with 50 percent of business owners selecting it, was “more reliable and affordable internet.” NAWBO has since been using its advocacy voice to let legislators know about this need.

Additionally, the survey showed the most commonly adopted tool during this time was cloud-based technology, such as Zoom and other software. This was added by 62 percent of all business owners since the pandemic began. 

Second, many businesses adopted new technology to sell and deliver goods without needing a physical location. Among all businesses, 28 percent indicated they adopted an online sales/e-commerce tool and 9 percent adopted a delivery service. Among small businesses in the personal services sectors, over half (54 percent) adopted e-commerce technology and 19 percent adopted a delivery service since the pandemic began.

Vital for survival

These technology tools have become a lifeline for many small businesses during the pandemic, allowing workers to collaborate while away from the workplace and opening new lines of sales while physical locations were closed or capacity-restricted. 

As the pandemic wanes, these adaptations are likely to become a permanent part of our economy. When asked if the technological tools they adopted will remain after the pandemic, 94 percent of businesses indicated they would. 

To further shine a light on the technology resources small business owners need right now, NAWBO recently announced its support of Verizon in helping to bring a new online curriculum to small businesses across the U.S.: Verizon Small Business Digital Ready

In partnership with Next Street and LISC, the Verizon Small Business Digital Ready online curriculum is designed to give small businesses the tools they need to thrive in today’s digital economy, including access to personalized learning plans, coaching from experts, and networking opportunities with diverse, industry-specific businesses. 

More than 100,000 small businesses closed due to the pandemic, with a disproportionate impact on Black- and Lantinx-owned small businesses. Verizon Small Business Digital Ready offers businesses support, aiming to enable digital readiness and drive digital transformation through a customized curriculum that accounts for industry, size, and interests. Applications are also open now for a pool of $10,000 grants from LISC, exclusive to Verizon Small Business Digital Ready participants. Businesses who complete two courses or coaching events are eligible to apply.

NAWBO is proud to be working with partners like Gusto and Verizon to reach and impact those businesses most in need within the United States — because with the right technology tools and resources in hand, entrepreneurial dreams do become a reality.

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