A new report is casting new light on the state of independent and microbusinesses outside the on-demand economy of Uber and other such enterprises. Online craft marketplace leader Etsy recently released a report called “Building an Etsy Economy: The New Face of Creative Entrepreneurship,” which was based on a survey of 4,000 Etsy sellers. The biggest uptake of Etsy’s report is that independent entrepreneurship is continuing to expand and thrive outside the on-demand economy, with Etsy standing as an excellent example of how online marketplace settings have made it easier than ever to create new businesses. Etsy is supporting an emerging type of creative entrepreneur: sellers who pursue their passions, are building robust businesses, and are defining success on their own terms. Here are some other key takeaways from the report.

  • Most Etsy sellers are women: In fact, a whopping 86 percent of all sellers on the site are female (compared to 33 percent of women-owned employer businesses and 50 percent of independent female workers). In addition, demographically Etsy sellers are twice as likely to be under the age of 35 as other business owners. Since Etsy’s business model makes it easy to buy and sell goods, the company has made entrepreneurship accessible and even low risk for these populations.
  • Many Etsy shops are legitimate businesses: According to the report, 76 percent of sellers consider their Etsy shop their business, with 30 percent reporting that it’s their sole occupation. Further 9 out of 10 sellers say that they are actively planning on increasing their sales.
  • Etsy businesses are self-reliant: Of those surveyed, 65 percent did require capital in order to start their creative businesses. However, of that group, 83 percent relied on their own personal savings for startup capital and only 1 percent sought and obtained a loan. In addition, most Etsy sellers manage every part of their businesses themselves.
  • Etsy sellers are establishing a new business paradigm: Of those sellers surveyed, 71 percent agreed that growing their businesses sustainably and responsibly is a priority. Etsy sellers seek to grow their creative businesses, yet they wish to do so in such a way that furthers their personal values and leaves a positive impact on the world.

Etsy is a global marketplace where people are able to connect in the selling and buying of unique, often handcrafted goods.


Etsy.com. “Building an Etsy Economy: The New Face of Creative Entrepreneurship.” 7/2015.

King, Steve. “The Etsy Economy.” Small Business Labs. 7/27/15.