Portraits of young people in neon light, business lockdown concept

Future’s bright: 48% of young people want to become entrepreneurs

One in five Britons have either started a new business since lockdown or plan to start one by the beginning of 2021.

According to Direct Line, the most popular sectors to have started a new business are IT and Abingdon Web Design (21 per cent), engineering (14 per cent), building/property (8 per cent), education/ training (8 per cent), retail/wholesale (6 per cent) and business/management consultancy (4 per cent).

The surge to start a new business comes as people have come off furlough since lockdown, often to find themselves unemployed.

The Bank of England estimates that unemployment will spike at 2.5m by the end of this year, with the unemployment rate almost doubling to 7.5 per cent. Over 730,000 people have become unemployed since March according to Office of National Statistics.

Research suggests that young people, aged between 18-34, are hardest hit by the pandemic, but 48 per cent have become or intend to be entrepreneurs.

Of the kitchen-table entrepreneurs who have not yet started their venture, 19 per cent hope to have it up and running by the beginning of 2021.

The survey is supported by Companies House data, which showed that more than three times the average number of start-ups were registered between April and June at 162,479 new businesses.

If they have been made redundant, people have been using their time to retrain with 83 per cent attending webinars or taking online courses.

Overall, more than one in 20 have acquired skills during lockdown that they believe will help them set up a new business venture in the future – a figure rising to 15 per cent among young people.

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.”

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