Strive Community
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Strive Community

Launching today: The digital transformation of small business support

The digital revolution is transforming small businesses around the world, presenting them with new opportunities and challenges that have been accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic. But as much as small businesses themselves are being impacted, digitalization is also changing how organizations that serve them can and should engage them. For small business support to be effective and sustainable, understanding how digital technologies are changing the landscape is essential.

Today, Strive Community has published The Digital Transformation of Small Business Support. The paper identifies new digital-first players and channels that have emerged to support small business and shares recommendations on how new and established actors can work together more effectively. We started by mapping 650 support organizations and initiatives to identify all existing digital support offerings from across the ecosystem. From this, we identified five archetypal forms of digital support: digital market access, digitalizing operations, digital credit, digital skill building, and online engagement. Each form is outlined and illustrated with case studies.

Based on this analysis, we also suggest ways of increasing the impact of digital small business support, calling on organizations serving small businesses to explore how they can do better, both individually and collectively. As digital transformation continues to expand the global support ecosystem, the challenge will be for all its members to work together more effectively, combining purpose and depth with cost-effectiveness and scale. We are hopeful that new initiatives — both within and beyond our immediate network — will pursue the pathways we identify in this paper, thereby deepening and widening their transformative impact on small businesses.

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