A study recently issued by eBay reports that in the last year 190,000 U.S. small businesses that use their platform export to multiple countries and continents. This is up from about 30,000 in 2009.
Even more are exporters (meaning they sell their goods or services to at least 1 country outside of the U.S.). Key quote from the study:
Data from eBay demonstrates that 95% of the US SMBs on our platform [those selling $10,000 or more] engage in exporting. This is not a niche phenomenon as over 190,000 of these tech-enabled SMBs reach customers on more than 4 continents ...
Given eBay's global platform reach, these numbers are not surprising.
And it's not just SMBs selling goods on eBay that are exporting.
According to data from the 2014 MBO Partners State of Independence report, 13% of full time independent workers - roughly 2.2 million - generate revenue from outside the U.S.
Of these, about 600,000 report at least one-third of their annual revenue comes from outside of the U.S.
Thanks to the Internet and a growing array of products that make remote work easier, much of this work is done virtually.
The main internet tool creating micro multinationals is, of course, online product and talent marketplaces.
McKinsey recently issued a report saying online talent marketplace by themselves could boost global GDP by $2.7 trillion by 2025.
If these sites even come close to creating $2.7 trillion in additional economic activity, the result would be a huge increase in the global number of micro multinationals.
Upwork (formerly known as Elance-oDesk) is featured in the report and it certainly is focusing on the creation of micro multinationals.
They have a great tagline - creating an online workplace for the world - and I also like their phrases "talent with boundaries" nd "the Earth-sized talent pool".
If your small business is interested in becoming an exporter a great resource is The Global Small Business blog. It's the source we turn to for information on small businesses going global.