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Fostering Digital Entrepreneurship: Young Lee’s Vision for Canadian SMEs at GoDaddy

Young Lee, Canada Market and Growth Lead at GoDaddy, shared her insights with CanadianSME Small Business Magazine on empowering Canadian entrepreneurs in the digital era. Lee’s role at GoDaddy is crucial in driving the company’s initiatives and supporting the growth of small businesses in Canada. She highlights the results of a recent GoDaddy survey, revealing an uptick in festive businesses started by Canadians, driven by economic pressures and the need for additional income. Surprisingly, many of these entrepreneurs plan to continue their ventures beyond the holiday season, showcasing a strong entrepreneurial spirit. Lee discusses how GoDaddy’s services, such as their Website Builder and Online Store, are tailored to assist these ‘festive founders’ in creating and sustaining their businesses efficiently and affordably. Her insights reveal a deep understanding of the challenges and opportunities in the current macroeconomic climate, positioning GoDaddy as a key player in the growth and support of digital entrepreneurship in Canada.

Young Lee is a seasoned marketer with over 19 years of extensive marketing experience in the technology industry. Due to her personal entrepreneurial endeavours and growing up with a family that ran a small business for many years, Young has a passionate connection when seeing small business owners create and thrive doing what they love. Currently at GoDaddy, she leads the Canadian business as Market Lead and also drives business growth, helping small businesses grow using GoDaddy products and tools in Canada, UK and Australia.

Can you please describe your role and responsibilities at GoDaddy? How does your position influence the company’s direction and initiatives?

  1. As the Canada Market Lead for GoDaddy, I am responsible for driving Canada’s business goals. Through our diverse integrated suite of online products and tools, GoDaddy helps Canadian entrepreneurs start and grow their business online. My role helps position GoDaddy as a trusted partner for entrepreneurs and small business owners along their entrepreneurial journey.

The recent GoDaddy survey revealed a significant number of Canadians are starting or have started festive businesses this holiday season. What aspects of these findings were most surprising or notable to you, especially in the context of the current macroeconomic climate?

  1. Interestingly, 32% of Canadians surveyed said they have already launched a festive business or plan to start one this holiday season due to the need for extra income to help combat the increased cost of living and inflation. However, a notable 97% of those who are launching a festive business this year said they have plans to continue their business post-holiday season. We know many Canadians are feeling the need for additional income sources at this time, and this statistic shows they also see the benefits of continuing their entrepreneurial journey, suggesting a longer-term confidence in the products or services they are offering.

With 89% of respondents citing the need for extra income due to increased cost-of-living as a key motivator for their holiday business ventures, how do you think GoDaddy’s services are particularly suited to support these ‘festive founders’ in this challenging economic environment? 

  1. GoDaddy has always been a champion for entrepreneurs and microbusinesses by providing them with all the tools and resources to help them succeed online. Website creation and e-commerce tools, like GoDaddy Website Builder and Online Store, are making it easier than ever for Canadians to start a new business. In fact, a GoDaddy survey  from earlier this year in Canada found that it only took new side hustlers a couple of days to have their website up and running, and cost them under $1,000 to do so. These survey findings support the work we are doing to help make entrepreneurship easier and more accessible.

Given that 97% of respondents plan to continue their festive business post-holiday season, what strategies or tools does GoDaddy offer to help these entrepreneurs sustain and grow their businesses in the long term?

  1. At GoDaddy, we want to be considered a trusted partner for entrepreneurs and small business owners along their entrepreneurship journey. Our products and services are designed to work together, as a one-stop shop for their business online, and our expert customer care guides and resources are available to help them at times that work for them. As we innovate with our customers’ needs in mind, we recently created a  Small Business Generative AI Prompt Library , featuring more than 130 thoughtfully designed prompts across 17 categories – to ensure entrepreneurs get helpful results out of the use of new Artificial Intelligence tools. We also have introduced an Instant Video feature within GoDaddy Studio, to help small business owners meet the growing need for video-based digital marketing by easily creating social media and video content.

The survey highlights a diversity in the types of holiday businesses, with a focus on self-made goods and personal care services. How does GoDaddy plan to support these varied business models, and what advice would you give to entrepreneurs who are expecting to make between $101 to $1000 during the holiday season?

  1. Entrepreneurs need to be as efficient as possible whether they decide to turn their festive business into a side hustle or a full-time business. There are limited hours in the day, and in a small business you’re often doing all the roles. Having the right tools and strategies to do more with less resources is important.

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