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The Internet Association Releases Part-Time Business Economic Report: Internet Fuels Part-Time Businesses; Adds $141 Billion to U.S. Economy


WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, The Internet Association President & CEO Michael Beckerman hosted and moderated a live webcast discussing the results of a report on U.S. Internet-enabled, part-time businesses. The research, commissioned by The Internet Association  and conducted by market research firm, Harris Interactive sought to determine the U.S. economic impact of Internet-enabled, part-time businesses. Today’s presentation highlighted the study’s findings.

Previous studies such as the McKinsey Internet Matters report and OECD’s Internet Economy Outlook have documented the impact of the Internet on the U.S. economy. However, the Internet’s ability to empower individuals to create part-time businesses had not yet been investigated until now. This study hypothesized that part-time businesses are substantial contributors to the overall U.S. economy. This study was conducted in June, 2013 among over 10,000 U.S. adults who are the primary owner of a part-time business that uses the Internet.

The major highlights from this study confirm the Internet’s positive impact on business operations, no matter the size. The report demonstrates how the Internet drives the growth of part-time businesses in the U.S.

Key Findings:

  • Internet enabled part-time businesses employ roughly 6.6 million workers.
  • The Internet fuels part-time businesses: 9 out of 10 part-time business owners rely on the Internet to conduct their business generating about $141 billion in annual revenue to the overall GDP.
  • The Internet accelerates the capacity of part-time businesses by increasing efficiency for 86%, expanding productivity for 82%, and saving money for 78%.
  • Up to 80% of part-time business owners describe their businesses as providing freedom, flexibility, and fulfillment.
  • A diverse array of part-time small businesses utilize the Internet (i.e., collectors, artisans, technical consultants, musicians, bakers/chefs, web designers, educators, carpenters).

The Internet Association President & CEO Michael Beckerman issued the following statement in response to the study:

“Businesses in every economic sector are benefitting from the Internet. By providing a level playing field for individuals to compete in the global economy, the Internet empowers part-time entrepreneurs to have the freedom and flexibility to do what they love and contribute to the economy in a major way. We will continue to push for policies that foster the Internet’s growth as an important platform for trade, commerce, and innovation.”

This survey was conducted online by Harris Interactive within the United States from June 10-28, 2013 among 10,031 adults (aged 18 and over) who are the primary owners of a part-time business that uses the Internet in one of the following ways to run their business: has a dedicated website, sells or buys goods and services, monetizes user generate content, advertises or markets business, uses search engine optimization, uses online or cloud based services, uses social media, uses software available on the Internet, or uses Internet computing technologies. Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the online population. Propensity score weighting was used to adjust for respondents’ propensity to be online.

The economic impact figures – number of employees and total revenue generated – were calculated using government data, the number of households as determined by the 2012 Current Population Survey and 2011 U.S. Gross Domestic Product figures. The revenue data is derived similarly. We estimated the average revenue earned by part-time Internet enabled businesses, based on self-report, to the U.S. 2011 GDP.

For more information regarding the methodology or how the economic impact figures were derived, please click here.

About The Internet Association:
The Internet Association is the unified voice of the Internet economy representing the interests of the leading Internet companies including Airbnb,, AOL, ebay, Expedia, Facebook, Gilt, Google, IAC, LinkedIn, Monster Worldwide, Path, Practice Fusion, Rackspace, reddit,, SurveyMonkey, TripAdvisor, Uber Technologies, Inc., Yahoo!, and Zynga. The Internet Association is dedicated to advancing public policy solutions to strengthen and protect Internet freedom, foster innovation and economic development, and empower users. The Internet Association is headquartered in Washington, D.C.

About Harris Interactive:
Harris Interactive is one of the world’s leading market research firms, leveraging research, technology, and business acumen to transform relevant insight into actionable foresight. Known widely for the Harris Poll® and for pioneering innovative research methodologies, Harris offers proprietary solutions in the areas of market and customer insight, corporate brand and reputation strategy, and marketing, advertising, public relations and communications research. Harris possesses expertise in a wide range of industries including health care, technology, public affairs, energy, telecommunications, financial services, insurance, media, retail, restaurant, and consumer package goods. Additionally, Harris has a portfolio of multi-client offerings that complement our custom solutions while maximizing our client’s research investment. Serving clients in more than 196 countries and territories through our North American and European offices, Harris specializes in delivering research solutions that help us – and our clients – stay ahead of what’s next. For more information, please visit