Nearly Half a Million New Businesses Set Up in 2020

own business

The ongoing pandemic has had a sizable negative impact on the UK economy, sending unemployment spiralling, and depressing the retail and hospitality sectors. With that said, there have been a few rays of sunshine finding their way through the storm-clouds, and among the most encouraging of them has been the marked upsurge in new businesses being set up.

The extent of this phenomenon was revealed by new research by instantprint. The company is among the biggest suppliers of printed marketing materials in the UK, printing posters, business cards and flyers. They support start-ups using everything from business cards to posters. Their research found that nearly half a million (468,371) new businesses came to be in 2020.

Head of instantprint, Laura Mucklow, said this of the findings: “There really has been no easier time to run a business out of your home, and it’s great to see the number of business ventures being embarked upon by UK entrepreneurs, despite the events the year has presented us with.”


What are the most popular sectors for start-ups?

The repeated lockdowns have made physical retail almost unthinkable. This has driven millions of customers toward e-commerce businesses that they might otherwise never have considered. And new businesses have been rushing to meet this demand: around 22,011 of the new registrations were in the retail sales sector, making it the most popular sector for new arrivals.


Where are the start-ups to be found?

Previous research by instantprint has revealed London to be among the country’s most unfavourable locations for working from home. But the capital still dominates when it comes to new businesses. It’s ten times as prolific as its nearest rival, Birmingham (with 123,462 new businesses to 11,185).  


When’s the right time to start a new business?

New registrations in 2020 hit their peak during June. If you’ll cast your mind back to the period, you might recall cause for optimism. Talk of a second lockdown was still being dismissed as scaremongering – and if you’d have predicted the Christmas limits then you might have been laughed at. This optimism might have contributed to the spike in registrations to 52,281. With that said, the spread of new business has been fairly even throughout the year, with 42,140 registering in December. Moreover, nearly half of adults in the UK (47%) are at least ‘considering’ starting a new business for themselves in 2021. If just a fraction of these makes good on this pledge, then we’re looking at a revolution in entrepreneurial spirit.

So, what should new business take away from this? According to Mucklow: “Whether you’re looking to start a side hustle or start a fresh with a complete career change, the sky’s the limit in terms of opportunities; it’s about finding something that works for you, and making sure you’re fully equipped to market and promote your start-up, wherever you run it from.”