Posted: Thu 27th Aug 2020
June saw a record breaking number of new businesses formed as entrepreneurial Brits used lockdown to start a company.
That's the finding from analysis of Companies House data by the Centre for Entrepreneurs (CFE).
As Britain went into lockdown to deal with the coronavirus pandemic in March, new firms being established fell by 19% year-on-year in March. In April, the figure fell by 29% and by 3% in May, but in June this year, there were 77,574 new formations compared to 52,779 in June 2019, a 47% growth.
Some of the biggest increases came among companies in the so-called 'COVID economy'. There was a 400% rise in disfecting services, 317% increase in retail of medical goods and an 85% hike for businesses offering specialised cleaning services.
There was also an 110% increase in new internet retail businesses as locked down households turned to the web for shopping. A total of 13,904 new online firms started in June.
There was also growth in sports retail (+89%), games and toys retail (+89%), bakeries (+58%) and clothing retail (+53%).
In terms of location, all regions and devolved nations saw rising business formations, with London and West Midlands on top with 60% increases.
"With many businesses set to close, and unemployment rising, it is entrepreneurs that will drive Britain's much-needed economic recovery and create new jobs," said Oliver Pawle, chairman of CFE. "These figures provide reassurance that there is a ready supply of new ideas and growing sectors across the UK."
Emma Jones, founder of Enterprise Nation, appeared on BBC Breakfast to discuss the figures. She said: "We've seen a wealth of people start businesses. People across the land are spotting gaps in the market and seeing how customers are buying in different ways.
"The entrepreneurial nature of British people has come to the fore in recent months. We are running an accelerator programme with Amazon where we are training 200,000 businesses to do more online. We have heard a huge cry from small businesses for content, education and training to do more online."