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Announcing the winners of the Economic Impact of Digital Technologies request for proposals

In January 2020, Facebook announced a $1 million commitment in 2020 to fund projects measuring the impact of social media and digital technologies on the economy as well as on economic opportunity. The first round of grant awards, announced in early June, was focused broadly on the economic impact of digital tools for small- and medium-sized businesses.

As a continuation of this series, we announced the Economic Impact of Digital Technologies request for proposals in April 2020. Today, we are announcing the winners of this second round of research awards.

During our review of these proposals, the importance of this work has become all the more evident. The ongoing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic throughout the globe is leading many small- and medium-sized businesses to operate online as a way to adapt. To better understand these challenges and opportunities, our winning proposals reflect compelling work on myriad technologies being used by these businesses, examining pertinent topics such as digital ads, marketing, payments, and other touchstones of digital technologies.

We received 189 proposals from 39 countries. Winning proposals span research agendas, from examining ad strategies used by minority-owned businesses to reach consumers, to small businesses’ use of contactless payments. We believe these proposals will help paint a picture of economic recovery across sectors for these businesses.

Thank you to all the researchers who took the time to submit a proposal, and congratulations to the award recipients. We are excited about the insights these researchers will contribute, as well as the rigor and thoughtfulness with which they will advance our knowledge of how to help small businesses.

For more information about areas of interest, eligibility, requirements, and more, visit the application page.

Research award winners

Principal investigators are listed first unless otherwise noted.

Digital sales and inventory technology to assess SMBs’ creditworthiness
Sean Higgins (Northwestern University), Paul Gertler (University of California, Berkeley), Ulrike Malmendier (University of California, Berkeley), and Waldo Ojeda (City University of New York)

The impact of social media marketing on business growth in times of crisis
Laura Zimmermann (IE University), Naufel J. Vilcassin (London School of Economics), Pradeep K. Chintagunta (University of Chicago), and Stephen J. Anderson (University of Texas at Austin)

Impact of contactless payments for small business services
Sophia T. Anong and Joan Koonce (University of Georgia)

Comparing data-driven with contextual advertising for small restaurants
Xi Y. Leung and Jiyoung Kim (University of North Texas)

Business agility — the critical role of data-driven and digital advertising
Eko Agus Prasetio, Ayu Purwariyanti, Dedy Sushandoyo, Muhammad Irham Rahadhian, Naufal Al Labib Tisyadi, and Retna Ayu Mustikarini Kencanasari (Bandung Institute of Technology)

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