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2020 was the Year of the Startup

ByDave Stopher

May 12, 2021

As one of the most challenging years on record for us all, 2020 was a year that put us all under pressure. It was a challenging time of year for everyone, with COVID-19 ravaging business, commerce, and general day-to-day living. However, one positive that came out of 2020 came through the number of business start-ups which were founded. Indeed, entrepreneurs in the UK bit back against the concept of a recession and a pandemic. With over 770,000 new businesses appearing across the year, this was an all-time high for the UK.

Data that was put together by Tyi by NatWest shows that a whopping 770,000 businesses were formed in 2020. That was a 30% increase from 2019, with every month aside from April seeing an average of 50,000 new businesses formed every month. With lockdown forcing many of us to look for new commercial opportunities, the inner entrepreneur was released in millions of Britons across the year. On top of that, the move to digital purchases and mail order businesses created a normalisation of the process for many Britons.

The success story of 2020

While the year was no doubt a massive challenge for us all, it did at least showcase an entrepreneurial spirit that had lay dormant for some time. Indeed, over 22,000 more mail order or online retail businesses started up in 2020 compared to 2019, with some 35,608 new businesses of this kind forming in 2020 alone. On top of that, we seen many companies involved the buying and selling of real estate appear. This was the third most popular new business sector, with a 40% growth compared to 2019.

On top of that, takeaway food shops – one of the few industries to stay open during COVID-19 – seen a 33% increase in the number of stores opened compared to 2020. One of the major impacts of the pandemic was felt by females, with females finding they were impacted some 1.8x the way that men were. Therefore, many women entrepreneurs had to get their thinking hats on and develop a new enterprise for themselves.

2020 seen many female business owners become owners for the first time. One major marketplace for females was on Etsy, with 81% of their sellers being female and some 69% considering Etsy to be at least a part of their business. With over 1.9m active users in 2020, this showed a rise of over 1 million active users compared to 2019.

So, while 2020 was a year that was filled to the brim with challenges, it is clear to see that many people used the challenge to develop something new for themselves. In what was a deeply difficult period of time for us all, the feelgood story of those who decided to fight back and create a better future for themselves is one that should feel immensely positive for all involved.

If you started your own business in 2020, congratulations. If you still think about starting one in 2021, well, the proof is in the pudding: success is possible!