Launching or owning a business as we enter a recession may seem like a scary and daunting time. With the media publicising how unemployment rates are rising due to the pandemic, and businesses varying between SME and global giants shutting down or making cuts, we assume that this is a reflection of all businesses in the country.
However, some have thrived using this as an opportunity to pivot their business plans or finally finding their place within the market.
We’ve grouped together some examples of local businesses who have found their way to inspire you to persevere with your business or employment plans.
When the pandemic resulted in school closures, most parents and guardians over the last five months saw themselves become home tutors, juggling this among other commitments. Learning with Parents partners with schools and supports over 20,000 families across the UK making learning from home accessible, fun and interactive. We got in touch with CEO Tom, to find out more about their challenges:
‘’Learning with Parents have been through a big few months. In the last six months, we have formally registered as a charity, seen an unprecedented surge in demand due to COVID-19, created big new partnerships such as with the BBC and won backing and funding from the UK government.”
“It has been an unsettled few months for all of us, but as a charity, we have a clear focus on supporting disadvantaged parents to engage in their children’s learning, which has helped us to navigate these testing times.”
“It has been great to have the support of interns from the University of Bristol through their SME Internship scheme and the COVID-19 Internship fund along this journey, helping to give us more capacity to respond to the huge demand for our support. We are delighted to have recently been awarded the Fair Education Alliance’s Scaling Award and look forward to increasing our impact in the year ahead.’’
With many of us spending more time in our own company, spending time outdoors and taking time to unwind, we have turned to podcasts.
Many start-ups have seen this as an opportunity to communicate with a new audience and delve into the minds of other creatives and champion small businesses. Some examples of this include University of Bristol alumni:
New Enterprise Competition winners, Kaedim, launched the Creator Insights podcast where every week they invite creative professionals to discuss how innovation changes in different industries. Whereas, The Millennial Entrepreneur follows young founders who discuss the challenges they’ve overcome while starting their own business, discussing topics such as ‘fighting for diversity in the tech industry’ to ‘using disability to create a fitness brand’.
With the closing of borders and the potential prospect of isolation on return, travelling abroad this year can be seen as no longer luxurious, instead is equipped with more anxiety and uncertainty than before. Student Travel Tips is an online travel platform with advice for students and young travellers.
During the pandemic, Student Travel Tips used the restrictions on travel to partner with Lockdown Index, providing key information on travel restrictions and border closures to equip travellers with the knowledge needed for safe trips.
They also launched The Student Travel Talk show where founder Alfie, chats with friends who have extensive experience in travel and wish to give listeners first-hand advice and top tips on how to travel safely. Student Travel Tips are currently taking part and are flourishing in the Santander Universities Emerging Entrepreneurs programme.
These are just a few local success stories. Let’s not forget about health and fitness brands, loungewear, DIY products and mask production brands amongst many more. It’s important to not let uncertainty halt your success in employment. Keep going, use it to your advantage where possible and in turn, support small businesses.