Analysis, Insight, News

GoDaddy’s Survey Reveals SMEs Went Digital During Pandemic

Dubai, UAE – 31 January, 2021: GoDaddy, released the results of its 2020 Entrepreneur Survey, which revealed that small businesses in the UAE are quite agile in adapting to the trying times of 2020. 36% of UAE entrepreneurs have increased their digital marketing activities to attract more customers. Nearly a third use their current online presence to sell goods or services. 68% are sure that their business could survive a second wave of COVID-19 as big as the first one.

The quantitative survey report studied the effects the global pandemic has had on entrepreneurs and small business owners in the UAE and stated that most respondents intend to sell their products and services through social media platforms in 2021. A third of the respondents said that they plan to set up an official website for their business.

Selina Bieber, Senior Regional Director for Turkey and MENA, GoDaddy

Selina Bieber, Senior Regional Director for Turkey and MENA, GoDaddy said, “The GoDaddy 2020 Entrepreneur Survey clearly shows the ways in which entrepreneurs and small business owners in the UAE have been impacted by the global pandemic, over the last year. In line with current global trends, we have seen the shift towards having an online presence and the importance of the use of technology as a solution and a coping mechanism for these businesses, to stay active and engaged with customers”.

DIY vs. Professional 

The survey highlights that 21% of respondents said that, pre-pandemic, they managed the technology needs of their business themselves. 28% said they had a friend or family member do it for them, while only less than a fifth had a web developer/professional manage their technology needs.

Regional Support for Entrepreneurs and a Look Towards the Future

Findings from the survey indicate that 4 in 5 entrepreneurs feel that there is a good mix of online tools and resources available for small businesses which allows them to easily digitise their business. Three out of four entrepreneurs and small businesses agree that the UAE is a good hub for small businesses. 84% consider digital adaptation to be very or relatively important towards achieving the UAE’s ‘Vision 2021′, which envisions economic advancement by promoting knowledge, innovation and technology which is a positive, optimistic sign. 

Ethics, Diversity and Community

Finally, the survey concludes that nearly a half of the respondents agree that practicing business ethics and values is a major contributor to a business’ success in the long term, with 94% believing that business ethics and values are very or relatively important to their company/brand, in regard to how they operate internally and while working with customers and vendors. 86% of entrepreneurs consider workforce diversity to be very or relatively important for their company. Similarly, 46% agree that it is a part of their company’s purpose to positively impact the local community.

About the Entrepreneurs

Over half of the respondents were already employed when they decided to become self-employed, with over 60% being first-time small business owners. Nearly a third of small businesses use their current online presence to sell goods or services. 74% of entrepreneurs already had a company website, with 3 in 5 intending to build one soon given the current circumstances and customers’ inclination towards making purchases online. Since the onset of COVID-19, amongst those who have an online presence, 45% have increased and improved their online customer communications to keep them informed about the change in services and how they are responding to the challenges.

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