Today, we’re releasing the Global State of Small Business Report, our tenth report over the last three years. The survey of more than 22,000 small- and medium-sized business leaders across 30 countries and territories takes a deeper dive into the economic reality of entrepreneurs around the world.
The report reveals that as the COVID-19 pandemic wanes, the greatest challenge SMBs are facing now is the current state of the economy, including inflation. We found that 19% of small businesses remain closed globally, a 1% improvement compared to when we ran this survey in January. The highest closure rates were in North Africa and the Middle East, where 33% of SMBs were closed. The lowest closure rate was in North America, where 18% of SMBs were closed. As a result of these headwinds, nearly a quarter of SMBs (24%) reported increasing their prices by 20% or more in the past six months.
Amid the challenges, small businesses have continued to innovate and adapt to economic hardship by using digital tools: 51% of SMBs said they use digital tools to communicate directly with customers. They also use digital tools for other business activities: 43% use them to advertise and 36% use them to sell goods and services.
Digital tools have played an outsized role in generating sales for diverse-owned businesses in particular, which is critical as the report has historically revealed these communities have faced higher closure rates. For example, small businesses led by women used digital tools at higher rates and generated more online sales revenue than small businesses led by men. Our report also found that 70% of diverse-led SMBs in the US reported having made at least some portion of sales digitally in the past 30 days, compared to 61% of non-minority SMBs.
And while the economy continues to affect the trajectories of many small businesses, the majority remain cautiously optimistic about the future and their ability to continue running their business. Fifty-nine percent of SMBs globally reported expecting to remain in business over the next six months.
This survey highlights the resilience of small business entrepreneurs and how, through the ongoing use of digital tools, they will find growth opportunities for their businesses.
The findings from this report are core to the reason that we’re working to help small businesses succeed using digital tools. We are continuing to build new technologies and functionality to make it easier for the more than 200 million businesses using our platforms to reach their customers and grow. Learn about our trainings, tools and resources here.
Read the full Global State of Small Business Report.