Young people rush to set up online businesses during pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a “surge” in young people starting their own online retail businesses in the UK, according to commissioned research from web hosting firm GoDaddy.

The survey of 2,502 young people aged 16 to 24 in the UK, showed that 9 per cent had launched a business since February 2020, with 15 per cent having chosen a retail one.

This suggests that, based on the latest Office for National Statistics (ONS) population estimates, around 95,000 new retail ventures were launched by “early entrepreneurs” in the UK since the start of the pandemic.

Over nine-in-ten (92 per cent) of all the 16 to 24-year-old entrepreneurs surveyed placed “great importance” on having an online presence, and consider having a website, social media channels or e-commerce capabilities to be important for their business.

Of those who haven't started up on their own, a further 18 per cent said they have a “concrete business idea” and are in the process of setting up their own company, indicating that the number of start-ups can be expected to increase further this year.

The research also suggests that the average age of a UK entrepreneur, which was 40 years old in 2019 according to Companies House data, is likely to decrease in the 2020s as part of the legacy of the pandemic.

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