Kitchen Startups Surge Since Lockdown

  • One in five Brits (19 per cent) have either started or put plans in place to set up a new business during lockdown
  • Companies House data for April-June 2020 shows the highest average number of start-ups registered compared with the same period over the last decade
  • Young people (18-34) are the most entrepreneurial with nearly half (48 per cent) having started or planning to set up a business by the beginning of 2021
  • Three quarters (76 per cent) of people who have been made redundant during lockdown have developed a new business

21st September 2020 – One in five Britons (19 per cent) have become kitchen table entrepreneurs during lockdown, either starting a business since March or putting plans in place to do so, according to new research by Direct Line - Business. Of those who haven’t yet started their venture, one in five (19 per cent) hope to have it up and running by the beginning of 2021.

The wave of entrepreneurialism 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. Almost half (48 per cent) of young people (18-34) have become or intend to be entrepreneurs, with just under a quarter (23 per cent) 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 per cent) 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 per cent) undertook tasks such as attending online webinars to develop their knowledge base. Half (54 per cent) of people who have been working reduced hours during lockdown have planned or started a new business, compared with 16 per cent of those who have been working full-time throughout lockdown.

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

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

·         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. But it’s vital that small businesses are fully prepared and protected for what lies ahead.

“Launching a business often requires both financial and time investment – and theft, cyber-attacks or damage to stock can be devastating for entrepreneurs. It’s vital that small business owners have the right insurance in place to ensure their hard work and investment doesn’t go to waste.

“When it comes to protecting start-ups and small businesses – and ensuring these newly established entrepreneurs flourish over the long-term – we’re on it”.

For further information on Direct Line’s small business insurance please visit our webpage here: