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Young keen on enterprise

Surge in ‘kitchen table startups’ during lockdown

Startups are thriving according to research

Lockdown has prompted a new wave of startups, one in five Britons (19%) becoming, or planning to set up in business.

Of those who haven’t yet started their venture, a fifth hope to have it up and running by the beginning of 2021.

The wave of so-called ‘kitchen table entrepreneurs’ is confirmed by Companies House data, which shows that between April and June, 162,479 businesses were registered, more than three times the average number of start-ups within this period over the last decade (49,301).

Despite research suggesting young people have been the hardest hit by lockdown, youngsters are showing the most entrepreneurial spirit, according to the research undertaken by Direct Line Business.

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Almost half (48%) of young people (18-34) have become or intend to be entrepreneurs, with just under a quarter (23%) of these having already started their business since lockdown began in March.

With recent ONS figures revealing that 730,000 people have become unemployed since March this year, those made redundant have had to explore new ways of earning money. Three quarters of this group (76%) are becoming entrepreneurs, beginning the development of new businesses, or planning to set one up.

People who have been made redundant have also been busy upskilling. More than eight in ten (83%) undertook tasks such as attending online webinars to develop their knowledge base.

Half (54%) of people who have been working reduced hours during lockdown have planned or started a new business, compared with 16% of those who have been working full-time throughout lockdown.

Overall, more than one in 20 (6%) acquired skills during lockdown that they believe will help them set up a new business venture in future – a figure rising to 15% among young people.

The top four areas of the UK with the most newly-established entrepreneurs (those who have started or put plans in place for a new business) are:

  • London (43 per cent)
  • East of England (32 per cent)
  • East Midlands (27 per cent)
  • South East (27 per cent)

The most popular industries for these entrepreneurs’ new ventures are as follows:

  • IT and Web design (21 per cent)
  • Engineering (14 per cent)
  • Building/ Property (8 per cent)
  • Education/ training (8 per cent)
  • Retail/ Wholesale (6 per cent)
  • Business/ Management consultancy (4 per cent)

Jemma Holloway, head of SME Insurance at Direct Line, said: “These results are extremely encouraging. Despite the uncertainty facing all of us, it is great to see that entrepreneurial spirit in the UK has not been dampened.

“I am particularly enthused by so many young people using this period to start up their own business, as well as the resilience of those made redundant.

“By the beginning of 2021, we’re expecting to see a wave of new start-ups – and this will be hugely important to the UK’s economic recovery.”

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