This article originally published on GoDaddy’s Venture Forward website.
Karen Mossberger worked on creating economic “empowerment zones” for Detroit’s city government in the mid-1990s, to help aspiring entrepreneurs overcome decades of urban decay by starting their own companies.
The results were disappointing, weighed down by several chronic problems: lack of access to capital or suitable physical spaces to set up shop, and lack of local demand in one of the poorest cities in the nation.
Today, and billions of internet connections later, Mossberger sees a world that can sidestep some of those physical and financial limitations.
She now studies a source of economic development that many policymakers never see: the tens of millions of micro-businesses that sell online, many without the overhead of a storefront, or the pressure of an all-or-nothing bet on their financial futures.… Read more