Budding entrepreneurs are creatively kick-starting new businesses—and the economy.
A startup boom is in the making, fueled by the pandemic and financial recession. With staggering unemployment numbers around the world, many are turning to entrepreneurship as their next career move. In America, for the week ending October 3, 2020, new business applications were up 40% compared to the same period in 2019, according to the US Census Bureau. And in the United Kingdom, over 29,000 new companies were registered in September, the highest number since October 2007. Experts predict this uptick will continue.
Krisha Kotak felt the time was ripe to set up her own sustainable fashion brand, Tula & Tye, in the thick of the pandemic, after being made redundant from her full-time job in travel PR. Kotak, who is based in the United Kingdom, spotted a demand for loungewear, as the uptick in work from home went hand-in-hand with comfort attire. “I’ve had many business ideas over the years, but never had enough hours in the day alongside a full-time job to act upon any of them,” Kotak tells Wunderman Thompson Intelligence. “I think the key is that so many of us were suddenly given the gift of time and the opportunity to slow down and assess what we value.”
Kotak is not alone in new entrepreneurial pursuits. On September 12, 2020, Madison Schneider opened the doors of Lela’s Bakery and Coffeehouse in Kansas, and in Florida, brothers Nic and Greg Bryon created Pasta Packs, a local meal-kit delivery service, after Nic Bryon lost his job as a chef.
In the Middle East, family members Suad Bashe, Mona Bashe, Maunia Ali and Hiba Bashe are in the midst of creating the Mane Point—a haircare marketplace and online hub encouraging people in the region to embrace their natural hair, due to launch Spring 2021. “I’ve been thinking about setting up this business over the last five years,” co-founder Suad Bashe tells Wunderman Thompson Intelligence. The pandemic and lockdown restrictions offered much needed time and courage to develop the business. As Bashe notes, “the pandemic made me realize anything can happen and that I should take charge of my own fate.”
Side hustles and embryonic ideas have transformed into full-fledged businesses during lockdown. “It’s incredible how many kitchens have turned into tie-dye factories, candle-making labs, art studios, cake shops and so much more,” Kotak observes. The key to economic recovery may be in these small businesses blooming.
Main image: Courtesy of Tūla + Tye