UK entrepreneurs fought back against the trials and tribulations of the pandemic last year, creating 770,000 new businesses throughout 2020, an all-time UK record.
Data compiled by digital payment provider Tyl by NatWest, has revealed that the number of start-up businesses grew by 30% compared to 2019, and aside from April, 50,000 new businesses were created every month in 2020.
In a year of lockdown restrictions which resulted in mass closures across the high street, new entrepreneurs turned to the digital market to set up shop. This change in approach made online and mail order businesses the most popular sector of creation in 2020.
Business sector success stories
- There were more online and mail-order retail businesses created than any other sector – 35,608 in 2020 compared to 13,615 in 2019.
- Buying and selling of real estate was the third most popular source of new businesses created growing by 40% compared to 2019.
- The number of takeaway food shops created increased by 33% in 2020 compared with 2019.
The pandemic hit the female workforce hard, with job losses affecting women 1.8 times more than men. This meant many women had to tap into their entrepreneurial talents to find new sources of revenue.
One marketplace which has been an entrepreneurial outlet for women is Etsy. 81% of sellers on this platform identify as women and 69% of these consider their Etsy shop to be a business. The platform boasted a community of 1.9 million active sellers in 2020, a rise of 1 million from 2019.
Whilst new businesses have been created across the UK, Leicester in particular, saw a surge in new enterprises created in relation to population.
For every 100 people in the East Midlands city, there were 1.68 new enterprises created. The feat is even more impressive when you consider that Leicester was the first UK city to enter lockdown, and its citizens have spent the longest period living under COVID-19 restrictions.
Mike Elliff, CEO of Tyl commented on the findings: “Despite the many challenges faced by businesses, communities, and the world at large, the resilience and resourcefulness of Britain’s entrepreneurs is one of the great untold stories of the past year. With a 30% rise in business launches compared to 2019, the enterprising energy of new business owners deserves great credit. And while we all look forward to a world without lockdown restrictions, let’s hope the spirit of our agile, innovative and fearless start-up communities can endure long into the future.”