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Startups boom during lockdown

Every crisis is also an opportunity, and UK entrepreneurs have seized the chance to start new businesses during lockdown.

Data from Startups.co.uk indicates that five new online businesses were started every day (including weekends) in April 2020 – a massive 60% jump on April 2019.

In other words, according to the number of businesses signing up for long-term paid subscriptions to professional website builders like Wix and Squarespace, almost one new business was started every working hour during the month.


UK new businesses meeting lockdown needs

Startups.co.uk data also indicates that the UK’s army of entrepreneurs is keen to help a locked down nation enjoy themselves. The website’s comprehensive guide to selling alcohol online has recorded a substantial 78% rise in web traffic, while the guide to how to start a takeaway business from home has increased by a whopping 870%.

While stuck indoors, the nation is also crafting like never before, so it’s not surprising that the number of visits to startups.co.uk’s how to start an Etsy shop guide leapt by 27% in April.

There’s also evidence that a large number of aspirant entrepreneurs are thinking about starting a side hustle, with the search volume for Startups.co.uk’s side hustle guide rising by 55%.


Pivot - UK businesses are adapting to survive

It’s impossible to know how many of the 144 new registered online businesses were existing businesses moving online but this is another key trend from the web data. Startups.co.uk’s guide to moving your business online during COVID-19 received 760 sessions in April alone, suggesting that businesses with a traditional model were also scrambling to get their ecommerce offering up and running last month.

Commenting on the research, Startups.co.uk editor Bryn Glover stated:

“While there are many things to feel negative about during this strange time, it’s really heartening to hear that behind closed doors many Brits have used the situation to start something positive. This seems to be opportunistic thinking at its best – entrepreneurs working out the services we so desperately need during lockdown (alcohol and takeaways) and making it happen.”

Alec Hawley
Alec Hawley

Alec is Startups’ resident expert on mobiles, investment, and politics. Before joining, he worked in the media for over a decade, conducting media analysis at Kantar Media and YouGov, writing for computer games sites like Gaming Respawn and Gamespew, and taking on a wide variety of freelance roles.