Chapter 1: Building small business utopia: how artificial intelligence and Big Data can increase small business success
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Small business lending has remained unchanged for decades, laden with frictions and barriers that prevent many small businesses from accessing the capital they need to succeed. Financial technology, or “fintech,” promises to change this trajectory. In 2010, new fintech firms emerged to combat the market gaps in small business lending. These firms rely on Big Data and artificial intelligence to build automated underwriting processes and create a more streamlined customer experience. Since the initial fintech boom, incumbent banks and Big Tech platforms have followed suit and developed new products and services to better support small business customers. The data-driven technology used to optimize underwriting can also power a dashboard for small business owners - one that offers visibility into their cash flows and helps them run their businesses. This product-service ecosystem, which we call “Small Business Utopia,” has the potential to transform the world of small business by providing capital and insights to ensure these businesses can prosper and contribute to economic growth, productivity, and innovation.

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