Startups are a key driver of economic growth, job creation, and innovation. However, during the COVID-19 pandemic, there have been fewer people willing to make the leap into starting their own business. In contrast, others have had the flexibility to shift towards digital work.
Some startups have played a critical role in the COVID-19 response. Some have developed software for digital work and education and others have provided medical goods and services. PPE has become more important than ever. Some companies, such as the marketplace Brooklyn Equipment, have been essential to the global PPE supply chain.
However, most startups are facing significant challenges. They are particularly vulnerable to the economic implications of lockdown and the continued risk of COVID-19. There are restrictions to traditional funding, access to suppliers, and customers. We are all facing economic uncertainty, and for some startups, it is too much to bear.
Many countries are responding by implementing loans, grants, and subsidies, especially for SMEs. There has been some backlash against this by the public. Although it is important to the long-term stability of the economy to support startups and small to medium-sized businesses.
A New Opportunity
Although new businesses often struggle during recessions, many successful startups begun in time of crisis. For example, Uber, Airbnb, Pinterest and Dropbox, were all founded after the financial crisis. Therefore, a crisis can also present new opportunities for entrepreneurship.
You may be considering starting a business but are put off by the restrictions of Coronavirus. Then perhaps it is time to reconsider. While some businesses may remain risky, such as anything that involves contact such as massage or hairdressing, other startups still stand a good chance of success—especially any online business, or anything that involves home deliveries.
The needs of people are shifting, and some of these shifts are likely to stay. Even when COVID-19 no longer poses such a big risk, people may have become accustomed to the convenience of having things delivered and working from home. Consider what the needs of the future are. Team management and online conferencing software such as Zoom is doing particularly well in light of the restrictions put in place due to the novel Coronavirus.
Starting a business during the pandemic is no different from starting a business at any other time. You will need to create a business plan and calculate your startup costs. The future is uncertain, and we don’t know if there will be further lockdowns due to spikes in cases. Therefore, you need to consider any potential risks and have plans in place to avoid them.
Startups are essential to the economy. Whilst overall COVID-19 has been bad for business, it has also created an array of new opportunities. Many of these new opportunities are in keeping with future models for change. Arguably, a lot of these changes, such as remote working and businesses moving online, would have happened anyway, although at a slower rate. Therefore, consider a startup for the future, and use this as an opportunity for growth.
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