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Third Lockdown Creates More Start-Ups

The third national UK lockdown produced a wave of start-ups, with arts and crafts businesses particularly increasing, according to Direct Line business insurance new policy data.

Nearly a quarter (22%) of people have either started or are actively planning to set up a start-up – three per cent more than those who did so after the pandemic initially hit in spring 2020.

The findings are backed by an analysis of Companies House data, which shows that there was a 30% increase in incorporations of new businesses during the third national lockdown compared with April-June 2020.  January to March 2021 saw 211,368 companies newly incorporated, compared with 162,479 during the opening months of the pandemic.

Despite being disproportionately affected by the economic impact of the pandemic, young people are flying the entrepreneurial flag.  More than one in three are either actively exploring setting up their own business, or have already done so, fuelling optimism that the national recovery might be led by a youthful generation of entrepreneurs.

In Spring 2020, the three most popular planned ventures were in IT (21%), engineering (14%) and property (8%).  But this year they are much more creative, with survey results revealing that web-design (18%) and arts and crafts (12%) topped the list.

Of those who started a business during the third national lockdown, but did not do so during the first, 31% have now accrued the necessary funding, and 25% feel the climate is now much more stable.  Underlining this sense of confidence, 76% intend to make their start-up their main source of income.

Regionally, the top four areas with the most newly established entrepreneurs (those who have started or put plans in place for a new business) were:

  • London (45%)
  • North East (39%)
  • East Midlands (32%)
  • East of England (27%)

Interestingly, three of these four regions were also the most common areas for new start-ups last year, with only the North East a new entry in 2021.

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