Small Businesses and Freelancing Due to COVID-19

Goals

To understand how COVID-19 has led to the rise of small businesses and freelancing and to uncover statistics behind the phenomenon.

Early Findings

Rise in Freelancing Due to COVID-19

  • Due to the COVID-19 outbreak that has forced companies to cut fixed employee costs and adapt to the concept of remote working, there has been an increase in demand for freelancers.
  • As per Flexing It, a platform for freelancers, there has been a 75% increase in freelance jobs in April 2020.
  • PeopleStrong, an HR technology solutions firm, estimates that 25-30% of the workforce in sectors like internet business companies, ITES, IT, startups, quick-service restaurants (QSR), hospitality, retail, and logistics will be converted to freelance roles in the immediate future.
  • The number of freelancers in the US have also grown over the years. Whereas only 7% Americans freelanced in 2013, the figure became 35% in 2019. Currently, 53% of working Generation Zers and 40% of millennials are freelancing in the US.
  • As per a report, 43% of working US citizens will be freelancing by end-2020 and 50.9% by 2027.
  • Owing to the constraints imposed by COVID-19, at least 25% of global businesses will have 30% of freelancers in their workforce by end-2020.
  • Companies like Accenture, Deloitte, EY, and Simplilearn have stated that roles requiring niche skills that are in short demand will become freelancing gigs in the near future.

Optimism in Small Business Entrepreneurship Due to COVID-19

  • The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in more than 40 million unemployment filings in the US. Also, several small businesses have either closed or are on the verge of closing.
  • However, previous economic downturns have shown that the current scenario is ripe for starting small businesses. During the previous recession of 2007-2009, entrepreneurship increased by 17% as the unemployed started more small businesses than full-time workers. Hence, there is a rising optimism to engage in small business entrepreneurship post COVID-19.
  • As per Andy Fishburn, MD of Virgin Startup, the company has seen great interest from people wanting to start new businesses, since the COVID-19 lockdown has given people the time to turn existing ideas into business plans.
  • As per reports, new opportunities will be created for tech entrepreneurs due to COVID-19. These include the following categories: entertainment and social, gaming, health, online education, and retail.
  • Taking new demands for goods and services arising due to the COVID-19 crisis into consideration, many entrepreneurs have pivoted their businesses to meet these new demands.

Summary of Findings

  • In the initial hour of research, we found several statistics that indicated the rise in freelancing due to COVID-19. However, even after extensive searching, we could not uncover statistics behind the rise in small business entrepreneurship as as result of COVID-19. We could only uncover a few insights and trends.
  • Even the website of the Small Business Administration could not present any statistics behind the rise in small business entrepreneurship as result of COVID-19.
  • In addition to this public search, we scanned our proprietary research database of over 1 million sources and were unable to find any specific statistics behind the increase in small business entrepreneurship due to COVID-19.

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