No jobs? No problem – we’ll create our own. A new approach for a new generation

The pandemic appears to have caused a massive surge in young people starting their own businesses, according to a poll of 16-24-year-olds.

Many of them said that a lack of opportunities in the current climate had forced them to strike out alone with one in ten of a 2,502-strong sample actually starting their own business since last February.

Researchers say this suggests that, based on the latest ONS population estimates for this age group, more than 630,000 ventures were launched by this Covid Generation since the start of the pandemic.

A further one in five say they have a concrete business idea and are in the process of setting up their own company, indicating that the number of youthful start-ups is expected to increase even further this year.


  • One in ten have started their own business since February 2020
  • Three quarters said they did so because there were not enough jobs available
  • They overwhelmingly favour e-commerce and get 12% more revenue from it than other business owners 
  • Creative industries retail and leisure are among the most popular sectors

These research findings suggest that the average age of a UK entrepreneur will drop well below the 40 that Companies House data suggests it was in 2019, according to the Censuswide poll for GoDaddy, a company which supports online start-ups.

Creative industries and retail appear the most popular sectors for 16-24-year-olds, despite the challenges faced by both industries in the past year.

Nearly a fifth launched a creative business, specialising in art, music or design, which based on those ONS estimates, equates to around 108,000 new companies, closely followed by retail, at 15 per cent with an estimated 95,000.

START-UP STORIES: two businesses mentored to an online future Click here

Researchers believe this relates to the pandemic, which has disrupted the job market and forced many people to take professional opportunities into their own hands.

When asked what encouraged them to launch their own business, three quarters said there were not enough employment opportunities for them in the current climate. In fact, before pursing their own business ideas, almost one in five had tried and failed to find work in their chosen field.

Naturally for Generation Z start-ups, nine in ten 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.

The research also revealed that they overwhelmingly favour e-commerce and derive 12 per cent more revenue from online sales than the average business owner.

GoDaddy Director Sakshi Anand said: “Young entrepreneurs have managed to make the most out of a difficult situation and have demonstrated the ability to flourish in a challenging economic environment. We’re excited to see what 2021 will bring.”

See also:

How £100 million in loans drove a new generation of small businesses

Locked down – but startups reach and all-time high

Online and on their way – more case studies