New technologies have brought new routes to market. Frameworks that encourage innovation, product development and open research are essential. But while many countries seek to supplant offshored industries with a growing digital market, it's important to connect consumer rights to business interests.
Digital technology has a much-touted capacity for increasing competition and innovation, but substantial barriers still exist when it comes to small businesses. Some of this is about access to the technology stack services can build on, some is about market access, still more is about access to funding. Creating space for small businesses to grow means taking holistic steps to tackle all of these issues.
Responding to and encouraging new business models demands a nuanced view of the technology sector. Such a view needs to be supported by people who understand what consumers need, how the industry operates, and what policies encourage civic-minded innovation.