Entrepreneurs not threatened by AI and automation

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Entrepreneurs in the US face both technological and political disruption that is helping them to prosper and grow while also requiring them to adapt in new ways according to GoDaddy's new Global Entrepreneurship Survey.

The web hosting giant's survey was conducted by the research firm Savanta and surveyed 4,505 small business owners in Australia, Canada, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Mexico, South Africa, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States.

According to the global survey, entrepreneurs are being impacted by a myriad of external challenges ranging from cyber threats to political and societal turbulence as they try to grow their businesses. However, even with these disruptions and uncertainties, entrepreneurs remain optimistic with 70 percent of US respondents reporting that they expect their business to grow by at least 25 percent in the next three to five years.

Experts warn that 38 percent of US jobs are at a potential high risk of automation by the 2030s but the entrepreneurs surveyed by GoDaddy believe they are insulated from the impacts of disruptive technologies.

Of those surveyed, 75 percent of small business owners feel protected against job loss from robots, automation and AI. The survey also revealed that females (76%) were slightly more likely to believe than men (71%) that their businesses would be able to withstand these types of technological disruption.

Adapting to change

Political and societal turbulence was another concern cited by entrepreneurs and SMBs as a potential challenge to their success. However, that concern is substantially lower in the US where only 17 percent of entrepreneurs said societal and political turbulence poses a threat to the success of their business, compared to 33 percent of entrepreneurs in all of the other regions surveyed.

VP of Global Marketing Operations at GoDaddy, Melissa Schneider explained why SMBs and entrepreneurs are less worried about potential disruption to their businesses, saying:

"Globally, we are currently in an intense period of technological, political and societal change and transformation. Small business owners and entrepreneurs are constantly adapting to change, both in their own venture and in the outside world, with limited help. That's why GoDaddy is so committed to supporting them on their ever-changing journey, with the guidance and tools to help make them successful online." 

Technological disruption can pose challenges but entrepreneurs and SMBs, it can also help to reduce the barrier to entry when creating a new venture. Small businesses in the US are among the most likely to report having their own website at 44 percent while 29 percent said they rely on either social media or online marketplaces to conduct their business.

Anthony Spadafora

After working with the TechRadar Pro team for the last several years, Anthony is now the security and networking editor at Tom’s Guide where he covers everything from data breaches and ransomware gangs to the best way to cover your whole home or business with Wi-Fi. When not writing, you can find him tinkering with PCs and game consoles, managing cables and upgrading his smart home.